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County selling limestone dragline

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Levy County will be putting its dragline up for sale, preferring to use another piece of equipment to mine and load limestone from the Gulf Hammock Pit for road construction.
The Board of commissioners on Tuesday approved the sale at the request of Road Department Administrative Superintendent Bruce Greenlee, who said the dragline is no longer needed for the county's limerock mining operation. "We can only mine to 30 feet and we need to get rid of this," he said. "There is a lot of demand for this equipment."
The county purchased the 1971 piece of equipment for over $200,000 in the '90s, said County Coordinator Freddie Moody.
Commissioner Marsha Drew, of Yankeetown, asked why the pit can only mine down 30 feet. "Because the kind of rock you get then is not crushable," Greenlee said.  It makes it unsuitable for road work.
Commissioner Chad Johnson, of Chiefland, who is a professional auctioneer, explained how the county could set a "reserve" price on the dragline when it goes to auction. He said the reserve price is like a "floor" that  bidders must meet before it can be sold.
"At an absolute auction, you can have someone who bids $1 ... and it goes to the bidder," Johnson said.
Adkinson Realty and Auction, of Lake City, has the contract with the county for selling surplus property. Moody said the auctioneer is putting together an auction of heavy equipment in the near future with Southwest Florida Water Management Water District, Collier County and other government agencies. He said the dragline would be offered for sale in that auction.