FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's your money and local government agencies are making a little extra on the side. When it comes time to get rid of old equipment agencies use some of the same tactics internet savvy shoppers use everyday.
The buses and vans in the LeeTran fleet are driven until the brink. The minimum requirement for longevity is 500,000 miles. But many of them make it to the million mile mark.
Joann Haley with LeeTran says after the buses get to that level, the county run organization looks into selling them.
"After that point it becomes a question of how much is it costing us to keep it on the road. To replace parts, to replace engines," said Haley.
Up until about two years ago LeeTran went through a purchasing department that received sealed bids.
"We found that we weren't getting a lot of bidders that way," Haley said.
Instead, LeeTran goes through a private land auction based out of Alva. In the last two years LeeTran has sold 25 buses, trolleys and vans for $73,000. The buyers, according to Haley, range from local governments to charities.
The Lee County Division of Solid Waste took its sales online. Using the site, GovDeals.Com, the county sold two trucks this summer for more than $35,000. The auction website operates similarly to eBay, where customers bid on everything from tractors to parking meters.
In the last two years the Lee County School District has sold 3,700 items on the site, mostly computers and accessories. The district has made almost $350,000.
The City of Cape Coral made $220,000 off of GovDeals.Com last year and another $85,000 the year before.
What do the agencies do with all the money?
It's put back into the purchasing funds and used to buy new equipment. However, not all agencies sell their old and unused equipment. The Lee County Information Technology Department either donates, repairs or recycles used computer equipment.