• 43°

Polk considers new guidelines on surplus property

Commissioners set to vote on new procedures later this month

COLUMBUS—The Polk County Board of Commissioners is considering new policies and procedures for declaring and selling surplus items. 

Commissioners met Monday night and heard from county attorney Jana Berg about the proposed new procedures. Berg said an ad hoc committee came up with the new procedures that meet the guidelines. 

One of the major changes to the guidelines is that employees of the county and their spouses cannot purchase surplus property. 

Commissioner Ray Gasperson said he thinks allowing employees to purchase surplus property creates some real issues. 

Berg said in the past allowing that may have been a problem. She said it’s not against state statute to allow employees to purchase surplus property but she included it in the new guidelines and commissioners can decide if they want to include it. 

Commissioner chair Tommy Melton said it’s all about perception and definitely thinks the verbiage should be included in the new procedures. 

If adopted, county officials, employees, their spouses, children, grandchildren and parents are prohibited from bidding on and purchasing surplus county real property under the drafted policy. 

The drafted policies also include that the county manager can declare surplus property acquired by the county through tax foreclosure that serves no useful government or is of no use to the county. Berg said this step is to save time. Commissioners will still approve any bids on tax foreclosures. 

The ad hoc committee to establish the new policies and procedures included the county manager, county attorney, the finance director, county clerk, tax administrator and information technology director. 

Commissioners are scheduled to meet again on Monday, Aug. 19 to consider the new policies and procedures.