OSAWATOMIE — City officials soon should know what kind of financial return they are going to get on city-owned grocery equipment.
Vision Equipment & Auction Co., based in Covington, Ga., auctioned the grocery equipment, cabinets and other assorted items in an online auction that took place Tuesday, Aug. 13.
City Manager Don Cawby told City Council members at their meeting June 26 that a representative of Vision Equipment flew in from Atlanta that morning and looked at the equipment.
Vision is well connected to the grocery industry, Cawby told council members who selected the nationally known auction company. Vision’s customer list includes Kroger, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods, Publix and many other chains, according to the company’s website.
Vision’s proposed commission rate of 10 percent was the lowest among companies seeking to auction the equipment.
Council members directed Cawby to negotiate and sign an agreement with Vision.
The community has been without a grocery store since Ron’s Country Market closed its doors in 2017. Much of the equipment, valued at $400,000, was almost brand new, and the city purchased the equipment, cabinets and other items through a lease-purchase agreement with First Option Bank for a reduced cost of $150,000 in the hopes of bringing another grocery store to town.
The clock started ticking June 24 on the city’s need to liquidate the equipment or move it to a new location within 60 days. Equip-Bid.com, an online auction company, purchased the former grocery building and the real estate deal closed on that date.
Cawby said Vision Equipment pushed back the date of the auction one week to try and find a buyer who would take the complete package. Vision Equipment indicated the delay should not hinder the ability for all the items to be removed from the former grocer building located at 701 Sixth St. before the 60-day deadline is up, he said.
The online auction, which began at 10 a.m. Tuesday, featured 219 items, according to Vision Equipment’s website. To view the items, go to www.visionequipment.com.