Upper Arlington News

City seeks avenue to sell street signs, other property

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

If you've ever wanted to legally obtain an Upper Arlington street sign or other city-branded property, you might soon be in luck.

Upper Arlington officials have proposed new rules that would allow street signs and other municipal property to be sold.

City Manager Ted Staton and the City Attorney's Office earlier this month proposed legislation to Upper Arlington City Council to allow the sale of both surplus and non-surplus city property for fixed prices.

During a June 3 council conference session, Staton said he had received a request from someone who wanted purchase a city street sign.

Although current city law allows the city manager to dispose of surplus municipal property by auction, sealed bid or Internet auction -- and allows him to trade surplus property for goods or services -- there is nothing on the books to authorize the city manager to sell the city's personal property, be it surplus or not, for a fixed-value price.

In response, the city staff has proposed permitting the city manager to sell both surplus and non-surplus items at a price determined by the city manager and finance director.

In addition to giving the people what they want when they want it, Staton said, the proposal would provide a new revenue stream for Upper Arlington.

"It's not going to be a gigantic profit center, but we'll make money," Staton said. "I think we'll determine a price and publish a list."

A June 3 staff report from City Attorney Jeanine Amid Hummer and Assistant City Attorney Thad Boggs said the intent of the proposal is to provide the city "further opportunity to receive revenue from personal property that is not readily marketable for sale by auction, bid or barter for goods and services."

"Staff has been alerted to potential demand for city-branded memorabilia," the report stated.

Council heard a first reading of the proposed legislation June 10. A second reading and possible vote on the measure could come at the next regularly scheduled meeting, set Monday, June 24.

According to the proposal, the city manager and finance director would establish a price for the property to be sold.

"Such price shall be the property's estimated market price, as determined by the city manager and director of finance and administrative services," the proposal stated.

Although council members have not objected to the concept, Upper Arlington Mayor and Council President Don Leach has raised concerns.

"It's an open-ended opportunity for the city manager ... to sell public property whether it's surplus or not at the sale (price) set by the employee," Leach said. "I think that's bad public policy."

Leach requested an amended version of the legislation be brought back to council that provides clearer pricing guidelines.

Council's June 24 meeting is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.

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