Patrick County employees purchase surplus office furniture

The Department of General Services (DGS) and Fort Monroe Authority hosted state agencies and localities from across Virginia on Thursday for a unique opportunity to purchase high-quality, gently used office furnishings at dramatically discounted prices.
The open house at Fort Monroe, organized by the DGS Office of Surplus Property Management, was intended to promote reuse of the furniture, which saves taxpayer dollars and keeps the items out of landfills.
Over 260 representatives from agencies and localities across Virginia, including Patrick County,. chose from over 3,200 pieces of furniture contained in six former U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) buildings. The furniture was included in the transfer of property from the Army to the Commonwealth when Fort Monroe was deactivated in 2011.
The items were available at prices between 60 and 90% less than standard retail prices. Attendees chose from a variety of cubicles, large conference tables and desks for $50 each, desk chairs for $25; and smaller items for $10.
“While this event featured office furnishings, the Office of Surplus Property Management works with agencies and localities every day to find the items they need for pennies on the dollar, whether it’s much-needed musical instruments for schools, kitchen equipment for state prisons, or heavy machinery for local governments,” said Chris Beschler, director of the Department of General Services. “Every dollar saved on these necessary items is a dollar that these public entities can spend fulfilling their missions.”
When state and federal agencies no longer need items, the Office of Surplus Property Management oversees the distribution to other public bodies, eligible nonprofit organizations and, in some instances, the general public. Usually, items are either brought to one of the surplus warehouses in Richmond or Wytheville or sold online.
This was the first time the Office of Surplus Property Management worked with an entity to host an open house where public bodies could shop on site. By eliminating the need to transport the items to the warehouse, the Surplus Property program was able to offer even deeper discounts. State surplus items, such as the furniture at Fort Monroe, are offered first to public bodies. As such, the sale was not open to the public.
Geri Hazelwood, assistant county administrator for Patrick County, picked up some chairs, a desk, a credenza, cabinets and more for the administration office. “We did very well today,” she said. “We’re on such a tight budget, so we’re trying to save money for the county. We appreciate being invited.”
Eighty percent of the money raised goes back to Fort Monroe Authority. The remainder goes to the Office of Surplus Property Management, a self-funded, non-General Fund program.
Cadets from Hampton University ROTC programs were on hand to assist shoppers.
Find out more about the surplus property program by visiting the DGS website at www.dgs.virginia.gov. the Fort Monroe Authority is online at www.fmauthority.com.

Pictured (left to right): Geri Hazelwood, Secretary of Administration Nancy Rodrigues, and Ruth Russell at the surplus property sale.
Pictured (left to right): Geri Hazelwood, Secretary of Administration Nancy Rodrigues, and Ruth Russell at the surplus property sale.
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