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A trolley stored at a Detroit Department of Transportation lot will be offered to the highest bidder. The city will put up numerous items for auction next month to raise cash to pay down debts. Gary Brown, the city’s chief operating officer, says it’s an effort to be more efficient. (Photo: Photos by Steve Perez, The DetroitNews) Buy Photo
Detroit — The city will kick off internationally marketed auctions next month to sell off surplus vehicles and equipment for cash to bolster its departments and pay down debt.
Detroit Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown on Thursday noted the auctions will be conducted in partnership with Hilco Industrial and Miedema Auctioneering and Appraisals. The city finalized a contract with Farmington Hills-based Hilco this summer that nets Detroit an upfront payment of $5 million for its surplus property.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said he will decide by the end of the week of Nov. 3 whether he will confirm the city’s plan to shed $7 billion in debt and invest $1.7 billion into restructuring initiatives.
Brown said the auction effort is about asset management. “We’re going through all of our warehouses in every nook and cranny and finding equipment that is no longer needed . ” he said.
“Most of the money will go back to the department that donated it for auction,” Brown added, adding funding would be used toward more efficient vehicles and equipment.
Robert Levy, a managing partner for Hilco, said Thursday that the sale is unusually large and has garnered wide interest.
“The city has taken a whole new fiscally responsible approach to monitoring their assets and understanding the value of their assets,” he said.
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