Very few of us think our garages need more “stuff.” Monroe County is no exception, according to Monroe County Clerk and Recorder Jonathan McLean. Virtually every county department is looking for more storage space for everything from records to no-longer-used furniture and equipment.
There’s an accumulation of items in the large metal county garage building between the Monroe County Jail and Post Office on E. Third Street. Some are items no longer used in the courthouse and other county departments, like desks, file cabinets, older computer equipment, and even electric typewriters and an engineering drafting table.
In addition to the routine items, there are a multitude of collectables, hobby items, antiques and other useful items that have gone unclaimed after they were collected following crimes in the county.
According the Sheriff Neal Rohlfing, many date back to Sheriff Dan Kelly’s terms heading the Sheriff’s Department.
They include items of antique furniture, like a century-old steamer trunk, numerous dolls (still in boxes), HO-scale model trains, a box of Norman Rockwell Christmas plates and even an unopened package of 1994 baseball cards. There is also a hunter’s tree stand, a small, clinky child’s piano and a multitude of items that must be seen to be believed.
Many unusual items have been recovered by the Sheriff’s Department from thefts and abandonment. The items cannot simply be hauled to a land fill because someone has to account for all of it.
The items are taking up room that could be better used for currently employed equipment and work space, according to county employee Joe Lewis, who said he was shocked the first time he saw the extent of items and materials.
In six weeks, Sheriff Neal Rohlfing and Jonathan McLean hope most, if not all of the extra artifacts will leave permanently in an auction to be conducted at the county garage building by auctioneer Dale Burmeister of Red Bud. The auction is slated to start at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, July 18.
Burmeister’s Auction Service will create a list of items to be auctioned and advertise the event. The list will be available to interested buyers on the Monroe County web site and in the Republic-Times before the event.
Rohlfing and McLean hope everything finds a new home as they reclaim the square footage for other uses. It is doubtful some items like damaged desks may sell, but even they, being steel, are saleable as salvage material. Items recovered in criminal and other cases will continue to arrive, including an ATV that is currently evidence in an unresolved case.
There is a lot of very neat stuff is waiting to find a new home. Maybe one of the baseball cards will feature one of that year’s All Stars, including Tony Gwinn or Ken Griffey, Jr. You just don’t know.