Surplus sale ignites controversy at KCSD
By CHRIS MORELLI
MILL HALL — What started as a simple surplus sale in the Keystone Central School District has turned into a bit of a headache.
At Thursday night’s work session, board member Charlie Rosamilia voiced concern over the contract with the Michael Dillard Auction Company, which will be charged with liquidating the surplus items if the board approves the contract at next week’s voting session.
However, that may be easier said than done.
Rosamilia said that he has concerns with the auction company that has been selected to liquidate the items.
“I do have some questions … I would note that the commission can be as high as 30 percent. Now, there’s a reducing scale, depending on how much the items sell for,” Rosamilia said.
However, the fees are a big concern, Rosamilia said.
“There’s a 3.5 percent credit card fee, a 2 percent proxy bid fee, there’s $200 waive bid catalogue fee, a $35/hour auction staff cost and a $20 no sale fee for any item that doesn’t sell,” Rosamilia said.
But it was the fine print that Rosamilia took issue with.
Reading from the contract, Rosamilia said: “The third option (in the contract) is the one I’m concerned about. If seller’s gross auction proceeds are less than the total cost of the auction service expenses … if this occurs, seller shall pay the auction company for all services rendered from seller’s personal funds. No exceptions.”
He said that is a red flag.
“To me, that’s happened before or it wouldn’t be in their contract. I would never vote to sign a contract like that,” Rosamilia said.
The Michael Dillard Auction Company is based out of Milroy. At a previous school board meeting, it was asked why a local auctioneer wasn’t selected to liquidate the items.
“We do have local people who would go to the site and conduct the auction there. They usually charge 20 percent and that’s their cost … I wasn’t involved in the discussions to the point where we’re putting this one on the agenda, but I’m certainly not going to vote for it,” Rosamilia said.
According to KCSD superintendent Jacquelyn Martin, the Michael Dillard Auction Company was selected because it will come to the site, photograph, catalogue and post items online prior to the auction.
The district has a vast amount of items to liquidate. Over the years, items have been kept in storage. From desks to outdated technology, there is quite a bit to sell.
Board president Boise “Bo” Miller said that there is a staggering amount of items to liquidate.
“Several board members have taken the time to view the surplus items. It is tremendous. We’re talking enough to fill this room probably four times, if not more,” Miller said.
Thursday night’s meeting was held in the Bucktail High School cafeteria.
Martin said that she would contact the auction company to see if the contract can be tweaked to eliminate some of the fees.
“We can look at modifying the contract so it’s more palatable,” Martin said.
No date has been set for the surplus sale. The board is slated to vote on the item at the next board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Bucktail High School.