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Want to Buy a Zamboni?

November 4, 2003

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Who wants to buy a Zamboni? The city of Brooklyn Park is about to find out.

A 20-year-old ice resurfacer is among the more eye-catching items on the block this Saturday at a government-sponsored auction in Arden Hills, where state and local officials will try to unload surplus or confiscated equipment.

There are dozens of cars and trucks _ including a 2003 Hummer H2 with barely any miles that was seized by the Minnesota Gang Strike Force. Stereos, computers and heavy-duty tools round out a list of more than 200 items up for sale.

Brooklyn Park is letting go of the green-and-blue Zamboni because the suburb has two others to use at its hockey rinks.

The Zamboni has been used less than 10 hours in three years, said Steve Lawrence, who oversees the city equipment. ``In my opinion, it is not needed.″

Brooklyn Park has gotten plenty from the first Zamboni it ever owned. The city purchased the resurfacer in 1983 for $36,153, and it has the equivalent of 300,000 car miles on it. Two recent appraisals have put the machine’s value between $8,000 and $15,000. But it costs the city about $1,000 a year to maintain, Lawrence said.

``I would think with the number of indoor ice arenas in Minnesota, a smaller community would be interested,″ said Jim Schwartz, a spokesman for the Department of Administration, which conducts about a dozen surplus property auctions each year.

Last fiscal year, the auctions grossed $5.2 million. About 90 percent of the money went back to the agencies that sold the items; the rest covered auction expenses.

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On the Net:

Department of Administration: http://www.admin.state.mn.us/

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