40th annual CMU Public Auction slated for Saturday
The 40th annual Central Michigan University Public Auction will be auctioning off university-owned items from automobiles to sports apparel on June 18.
The auction begins at 9 a.m. in Lot 1 at 275 W. Bellows St.
As the school year comes to a close, University Store Manager Jeff Peavey said each department assesses its inventory to see what items, such as desktops, desks, tables and chairs, it needs and doesn't need. Items deemed too old or in poor condition are given to the University Store to be sorted for reuse or prepared for the annual auction.
According to CMU's website, "surplus equipment is evaluated for quality, function, and safety. If an item is determined to be unfit for use or is no longer useful, it is sent to public sale. Equipment and furnishings that are in reusable condition are transferred to university departments as requested."
Items are collected and computers are wiped clean of sensitive information in the salvage station below Merrill Hall. The departments are given first pick over the lot for items that may still be of use.
Once the departments have selected items for reuse, the remaining items are sent to the warehouse in Lot 1 on north campus for the auction.
Some of the items going to auction this year include more than 15 vehicles, CMU athletic apparel, turf, old television sets, furniture, a trailer, kitchen appliances, hospital tables and microscopes.
Unregistered bicycles left on campus are taken by the CMU Police Department to be auctioned off as well.
Selling old items is a way the university liquidates its assets, getting a return on its original investment.
Peavey, manager of the University Store for 16 years, works with the university's departments to recover assets that would otherwise have been lost.
"As a government institution, we are required to try and recover as much of the assets as we can because it's tax payer money," Peavey said. "It's the right thing to do. We are repurposing this stuff. It's not ending up in a dumpster or going to a landfill. It's either recycled or being used by someone else and that's the ultimate goal."
The money earned from larger items sold, Peavey said, is returned to the department the item originally came from. The money from small sales is put into the general fund.
"If the department is selling a large piece of equipment, we channel that money back to them," Peavey said. "But for the everyday items that are sold for a few dollars, that money will go into the general fund. The money earned will return to the department the item came from."
The University Store has worked with Sykora Auction Service Inc. since the auction began 40 years ago.