The city of Zachary may conduct its own surplus property sales online instead of holding auctions through the Division of Administration’s Louisiana Property Assistance Agency.
And one of the first items to be auctioned online could be an old train caboose that is city property and is parked near the Zachary Historic Village, Mayor David Amrhein said.
Using an online service such as Municibid would maximize the value of surplus property, Chip Troth, the city’s director of purchasing, told the City Council on Tuesday.
“Online sales, which the city of Baton Rouge and BREC have moved to, seems to accomplish that,” he said.
Buyers pay the company, which then sends a check to the city.
Council members agreed to sell the caboose as surplus, and approved an ordinance allowing the Zachary Police Department to donate some of its old computers to the Wilson Police Department.
The Zachary council approved a request for the mayor to negotiate with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, which collects taxes in the parish, to allow a third party to recover unbilled and uncollected property tax revenues. City attorney John Hopewell said this is an “all or nothing proposal,” meaning all taxing districts in Zachary — including the school district — would have to agree to the final proposal.
The council also approved council member Laura O’Brien as mayor pro tempore for 2016.
Also, Zachary got a clean audit for the past year.
Zachary had $77 million in assets in 2015, up $4 million from 2014, said Margaret Pritchard, a certified public accountant with Baxley and Associates.
The city spent $16 million on government activities — up $3 million, largely because of street improvements, including a project to widen Mt. Pleasant Road. Revenues totaled $13 million, which includes a $450,000 increase in sales tax revenues.
The city has a positive net position, with about $1 million left over, Pritchard said.
“Y’all are blessed,” she said, adding that many cities hold a negative position.
The council’s next scheduled meeting is Jan. 26.