The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

City Hall Used Cars brings in $20,072 on 10 vehicles, tires; more vehicles up for grabs via online bidding

In City Hall on May 6, 2008 at 1:46 am

City Hall Used Cars has unloaded 10 vehicles and some tires on its online lot at

A new round of bidding is open on a second line of 15 used city Public Works Department vehicles — dump trucks, cars, pickups and tractors — at Alliant Energy’s online auction site,

In the auction which ended Monday on the last of 10 vehicles, 188 bidders competed, coaxing the prices up on a stable of well-worn city vehicles.

Three of the 10 vehicles once patrolled city streets as police squad cars. The three, all Ford Crown Victorias, attracted 11, 31 and 39 bids respectively, with the winning bids at the close last Friday at $1,600, $4,950 and $5,226 respectively. All three cars, one a 2003 model and two, 2005 models, had logged 80,000-plus miles.

Among the other vehicles being battled over was a 2001 pickup with animal cages on the back that had helped the city’s Animal Control operation chase down stray and troublesome animals. Forty-one bidders pushed the bid on the truck to $2,300 at the close.

Twenty-five bidders also fought over a 1998 Ford Escort with 58,052 miles that once had worked as a parking parking-meter enforcement vehicle. The bidders, however, got the bidding to just $1,041 when bidding closed. The promotion of the Escort worked only so well: “This vehicle starts, runs, (is) drivable.”

Judy Lehman, the city’s purchasing services manager, on Monday said the winning bidders on 10 vehicles and tires will pay a total of $20,072, $15,072 over what the city was willing to sell the items for.

Lehman said the online auction is much simpler and takes far less staff time than city auctions of yesteryear, in which bidders came out in person at an auction site and bid.


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