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PUB approves online auction of vehicles

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Utility Board on Tuesday voted to authorize the auction of two vehicles online, a format the utility’s manager said recently yielded positive results.

According to a memo provided to board members, the PUB recently sold 11 pieces of surplus equipment via the website GovDeals.com for a little more than $50,000 in its first online auction.

“That’s better than we had previously done (with) on-site auctions,” PUB Manager Eric Bennett said.

The bulk of that revenue came from the sale of two backhoes for about $32,000 combined, he said.

Mayor Tom Joyce, the board’s chairman, said the city has found success with online auctions too. Attendance at an in-person auction could be negatively impacted by weather or simultaneous events, he said.

The vehicles approved for auction Tuesday are a 2004 GMC Safari van and a 2001 GMC Sonoma truck. The board approved bids to purchase replacements for each vehicle at its Dec. 8 meeting.

The vote to authorize the online auction was 4-0, with board member Paul Hoblitzell absent.

In the memo, Bennett said another advantage of the online auction is equipment can be listed for sale as soon as it becomes surplus, reducing the amount of time the utility has to store it.

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