City to hold annual auction

It’s time again for the city to auction its surplus property.

The Marshalltown Police Department will hold its annual bicycle and government surplus auction at 6 p.m. Monday at the police impound building, just east of the Marshalltown Compost Facility, 901 Woodland St.

Capt. Chris Jones, with the Marshalltown Police Department, said the MPD has more bikes than last year – around 200 – but the auction is similar to those in years past.

Jones said the only reason the number of bikes to be auctioned is higher this year is that the MPD is holding the auction later in the year. Normally, the MPD holds the auction sometime in mid-June, but Jones said the professional auctioneer the city uses was unavailable until Monday.

Last year’s auction put roughly $1,000 back into the police department, which is about average, Jones said.

“It’s nice for us to clear out some excess property and give the public an opportunity to purchase some of the things we no longer use,” Jones said.

While bikes comprise the majority of the items to be auctioned, Jones said other items will be available. Police collected a PlayStation 3 and between 20 and 25 games for PS3 and the Xbox in an abandoned property that will be up for auction; a variety of office furniture from several city departments rounds out the cache.

Police find many lost or stolen bikes throughout the year, Jones said. Bike owners can help ensure police are able to return their lost or stolen bikes by registering them with the MPD for $2 at the Marshalltown Police Department, 22 N. Center St., or at any of the bike rodeos the MPD holds, typically in the spring. Even just providing the MPD with the bikes’ serial numbers can go a long way toward having them returned, Jones said.

“If it gets stolen (having the serial number) makes it easier to track. Many bikes we recover are made by general manufacturers that make hundreds of bikes, and it makes it difficult to identify the bike if they don’t have the serial number,” Jones said.

Although the city can arrange to hold purchased property for a short time, Jones said buyers should come prepared with a means to haul any property they buy.

The auction will go until all the items have been sold. Buyers must register with a photo ID upon arrival. Cash or personal checks made out to the city of Marshalltown are accepted. All sales are final.