County’s boulders up for bid on eBay
If you’ve been looking for a bunch of boulders – 1,500 tons, give or take a few – you’re in luck. Just log on to eBay, search for item No. 3833295660, and you’ll find an ad placed by Nevada County officials.
The message is, essentially, like this:
Wanted: buyer for 1,500 tons of boulders. Must have strong back and a big truck. Sorry, no blasting. Don’t worry about boulders that are just too big to move. Minimum bid – $5,000.
It’s a bargain. At the going rate of $15 a ton, that mound is worth a good $22,500 on the rock market, said Rich Reader, the county’s interim director of general services.
As of Tuesday night, no bidders had gone for the deal, although potential boulder buyers have until Saturday to bid.
The boulders are being sold at the recommendation of a county transportation and sanitation commission, Solid Waste Manager Steve Porter said. The commission is primarily hoping to make some money for the county, Porter said, but he has grander plans for the boulders’ current home, a carved-out hillside at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station with a great view of the Sierra.
Someday, although there are no current plans to do so, the spot could host an amphitheater, with broad views of the mountains and the sky, Porter said. But such schemes are only possible post-boulder.
The boulders were building up for years while the facility served as an active landfill, Porter said. Excavators exhumed rocks, rocks, and more rocks, which were piled to make room for trash.
But the boulders don’t do much for the county now, so the commission recommended selling them. County officials first tried contacting local contractors and landscapers, Reader said. No one was interested.
And Reader, though not an eBay regular, has experience selling county copiers, desks, computers and other surplus stuff on the online retailer, he said. Reader said eBay works for “unusual things (that) it’s very unlikely somebody local is interested in.”
Hani Durzy, a spokesman for the auction site, agrees.
“How many people are going to hear about the fact that there are 1,500 tons of boulders?” Durzy said. With 140 million registered users, eBay attracts people hoping to reach a large audience with little cost, Durzy said.
Though construction and industrial materials are common on the site, Durzy said, Nevada County just might be the first to try to sell 1,500 tons of boulders online.
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