RUSSELL — Township trustees last week agreed to join surrounding communities to auction off extra gear from the fire and police departments using GovDeals, an online government surplus auction platform.

Russell Fire Chief John Frazier said at the March 18 meeting that only public agencies are allowed to auction items off on GovDeals, but anyone is able to browse the website and place bids on items.

“There’s certain legal requirements in order to auction items in Ohio for public agencies, we had to meet that and GovDeals is one of those platforms that allows us to do that,” Chief Frazier said.

GovDeals site works like a blend of Craigslist and eBay. Users who visit the homepage are greeted with a long list of items for auction, ranging from all-terrain vehicles to HVAC components and traffic signs.

“Traditionally, in the past, we had hired an auctioneer,” Chief Frazier said, “and so the exposure was limited to whatever that auctioneer would advertise. The advantage of GovDeals is it is internet-based, so it’s a pretty broad base of people that can bid on it.”

In order to place items up for bid, a police or fire department must present a listed disposition for property disposal to the board, which includes the names of all the items the department wants to auction. The Russell Township Police Department will have a disposition list ready at a later meeting.

In addition to radio equipment, hydraulic rescue tools, saws and medical equipment, the fire department plans to auction a fire truck. Chief Frazier said the starting bid price for the 1997 freight line tanker, which has been replaced with a 2019 Peterbilt tanker, will be $4,995.

Chief Frazier said that auctions like this are more about spring cleaning, to get old equipment out of the way and make room for new gear, instead of making a return on the department’s initial investment. Hopefully GovDeals can change this.

“It’ll be new to us,” Chief Frazier said. “We haven’t done it before, but we did talk to Bainbridge and they’ve had great success with it, so we’re hoping for a similar opportunity.”

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