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Monthly surplus sale at UWRF draws hundreds looking for bargains

Falcon News Service

September 21, 2016

The latest monthly surplus property sale at UW-River Falls drew record attendance and required school officials to extend the four-hour event due to a large amount of inventory, including items such as snowshoes, couches, ice augers and computers.

In all, 297 shoppers spent five hours at the Sept. 9 sale in Rodli Hall.

The sale was also the first that saw participation by the Department of Residence Life, which oversees the campus residence halls. In the past, Residence Life has held its own sales but has now joined with the Surplus Property Program to streamline the cash handling process of selling surplus property on campus.

Although the sale had more attendees than usual, only $5,000 in revenue was generated.

“We have some sales where we are concerned more with how much stuff goes than what we make,” said Mark Klapatch, UWRF sustainability and custodial supervisor.

Klapatch and Nathan Beeman, UWRF inventory control supervisor, are the main university employees in charge of coordinating the sale each month.

“In addition to our monthly sales (on campus), we run online auctions for larger ticket items and we have sold everything from automobiles, a bus, a water tower from up at Pigeon Lake and a Zamboni from Hunt Arena,” Beeman said.

Beeman also said that people come from all around the area to attend the sale. This included Tim Erickson, who came to the sale from his home in Hammond and purchased a tripod.

“We have a lot of people from the community. The fire department (and) school district are our regular customers,” Beeman said. The program made an extra effort to attract more students to the September sale by sending flyers to each student living in the residence halls and by setting up an informational table in the University Center on that morning.

“We’re trying to get more student involvement. We get a lot of faculty and staff members,” Beeman said.

The sale is responsible for diverting waste from landfills and repurposing items back to campus whenever possible before being sold.

In 2015, 102,770 pounds worth of material was sold and in addition to that, 9,900 pounds of material was given back to other departments on campus instead of being sold.

“For me, that’s the biggest aspect of the surplus program is diverting items from landfills. The other component to that is that we can generate revenue for the campus in a time when budgets are tight. Any revenue that can come back to campus departments really just helps out overall,” Klapatch said.

In general, 70 percent to 80 percent of that revenue goes back to the department that no longer needed the items.

“Really we track items that come to us from the General Program Revenue account, so (that includes) the University Center, Hunt Knowles or the Falcon Center, Residence Life. The rest of the general academic buildings, the money all stays in surplus, but that money is used to support campus-wide initiatives… We’re also using that to pilot two refuse and recycling projects right now,” Klapatch said.

The sale is held on the second Friday of every month all year in Rodli Hall, but it may not always be that way. Due to the pending Rodli Hall renovations, the surplus property department will need to move to a new, undetermined location after this academic year.

According to Klapatch, after the renovations in Rodli are complete there will be vacancies in Hagestad Hall, North Hall and South Hall.

“We do not know where we will go, but I’m sure we will go somewhere,” Klapatch said.

For further information about UWRF surplus property sales, visit the program’s website at http://bit.ly/2cPn0QG or Facebook page at facebook.com/UWRFSurplus/.