Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Columbia County News

School District Auction Goes off Without a Hitch
Laptops, Monitors, Video Cameras: MIA 

Posted April 20, 2015  07:10 am

Lined up like yellow giant caterpillars, the district's surplus school buses were sold.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL –  Saturday's Columbia County School District (CCSD) auction went off without a hitch. The surplus school buses were lined up like giant yellow caterpillars. Inside the warehouse were tables, chairs, kitchen equipment, and screen printing equipment. Many of the items looked new or nearly new. There was also a tire changer, vehicle jacks, and welders.

Tom Alford, the former retired CCSD Transportation Director and Purchasing Director, Mike Null spoke about the school buses that were up for auction.

Long time CCSD Purchasing Director, Mike Null (leaning against hood), keeps his eye on the auction.

Mr. Null said the District was not buying the flat nosed busses any more explaining that they were hard to maintain and not good on dirt roads.

He said, "We have 15 new busses coming. We keep spares. The buses that are up for auction are all over 10 years old."

Mr. Alford said the typical mileage for the buses on the block were about 150,000.

He said, "Up to a few years ago we used to try and get rid of the buses when they were 10 years old, a lot of them are 20 now, because of the price."

Mr. Alford said the fleet runs about 5,000 a day and the district transports "about 5,000 kids a day."

About half of the district's students are transported every day.

Mr. Null said the District runs about 100 buses a day and maintains 10 spares.

Screen printing equipment and supplies went on the block.

Laptops, Monitors, Video Cameras: MIA

A trip through the warehouse revealed much equipment that was in new or like new condition.

Glynell Presley told the Observer that he remembered that the screen printing equipment was bought from Hunter Printing while School Board member and now County Economic Development Director, Glenn Hunter, was on the School Board.

Mr. Presley said he wasn't sure which screen printing equipment being sold came from Hunter.

Your reporter asked Purchasing Director Null what happened to the computer equipment and other electronic equipment on the surplus list.

There were 109 laptops, flat screen monitors, video cameras and more.

List of Board approved surplus computer and electronic equipment.      Click to enlarge

Mr. Null said, "We don’t sell any of that stuff. We can’t sell stuff like that. It gets declared surplus and we have contracts with buyers that do recycling because you just can’t sell it in the normal waste stream.

The Observer, "Why?"

Mr. Null said, "Because it’s regulated – like batteries – you just can’t get rid of it. It has to go through a proper recycling - reuse.

The Observer, "Just the hard drives?"

Mr. Null answered, "All the things. We’ve been doing that for years. We have to declare it surplus so I can sell it to my contractors."

The Observer, "The state requirement makes it so you can’t sell it?"

Mr. Null, "Yeah. About 25 years ago that wasn’t a requirement."

Mr. Null explained that years ago someone bought some equipment; went through it; and dumped what they didn’t want in the woods.

He said, "The game commission came up here, traced the items to the buyer, and arrested him – it’s all regulated."

Purchasing Null said he would get back to the Observer with the state regulations.


The St. Johns County School District is auctioning 44 laptops from Gateway and Apple. That auction can be found here for the next nine days or here if it has expired.


Comments  (to add a comment go here)   

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.


Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.