Standing in front of broken-down old trucks and a payloader, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino announced a new initiative that is literally turning trash into cash. America’s largest township has begun to auction obsolete, old and broken town-owned equipment on the Internet. So far, the effort has garnered $135,000, and Santino explained that the new program will support taxpayer savings as the auction revenues could supplant an equal amount of property tax revenues that might otherwise be required to meet expenses. Joining the Supervisor at a press briefing on the program were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
“Hempstead Town is actually turning trash into cash,” said Santino. “We’re taking obsolete and broken equipment that some other governments discard, and our town is getting money for these items by auctioning them on the Internet. We are getting rid of broken trucks, obsolete equipment, very old payloaders, boats that have been donated to the town and so much more.”
Partnering with Auctions International, the town is inventorying items that are no longer useable in serving town residents. The auction company posts the surplus/obsolete inventory on the web, conducting Internet auctions. So far, the town has realized approximately $135,000 for the auctioned items. Some of the auctioned equipment includes dump trucks, pickup trucks, communications equipment, cameras, vans, payloaders and road sanding vehicles, among other items. Currently, the town is even looking to auction boats that have been donated to the town, some of which were damaged in Superstorm Sandy. And, the town may have struck “pay dirt” as it will seek a purchaser to buy “clean fill” dirt that the town has accumulated through various projects.
“This program goes to show that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure,” stated Goosby. “This effort is a great way to eliminate waste and maximize revenues.”
Under the contract with Auctions International, the town receives 100 percent of the sales price of auctioned items while Auctions International charges a “buyer’s premium.” The company has extensive experience in Internet auctions that market the types of equipment and surplus material that Hempstead Town is seeking to sell. The town commenced its partnership with the auction company in March of 2017. Sales prices range from $130 for some used cameras and printers to $8,000 for an international payloader.
“Supervisor Santino is being innovative in his approach to government,” said D’Esposito. “He is looking at issues that have been taken for granted and finding new approaches that are increasing town revenues while offering relief to our taxpayers.”
Santino explained that the revenue gained from the auction of obsolete town equipment can actually result in relief for town taxpayers. In specific, the Supervisor noted that revenues gained from the program will help to meet the town’s budgeted expenses. He emphasized that he greatly favors the use of revenues such as auction proceeds to meet expenses as opposed to drawing upon sources that impact town taxpayers.
“Programs like this are a ‘win-win’ for our taxpayers,” concluded Santino. “Our town is turning ‘garbage into gold,’ and we are using the revenue we receive from auctioning off surplus items to meet town expenses, which helps minimize the burden placed on property taxpayers to fund town services.”