Illinois sees lack of bids in online auction of state planes

SHARE Illinois sees lack of bids in online auction of state planes
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Within view of the Illinois State Capitol, left, a state airplane prepares for take off from the Illinois Department of Transportation terminal in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, May 19, 2005. | AP file

An auction of half of Illinois’ fleet of airplanes has had trouble getting off the ground.

Only one of five planes had received an online bid as of Wednesday morning, the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn said last year that Illinois planned to sell the planes and that the state could save as much as $7 million by cutting the fleet. Some lawmakers have said the state shouldn’t being paying to maintain multiple planes, and some have campaigned on the issue.

Only two smaller planes were sold in a September auction on the state’s surplus equipment bidding website iBid. The latest round of online bidding is scheduled to close Wednesday afternoon.

Bidders must meet a minimum price to purchase a plane. The highest base price is roughly $2.5 million for a 1999 Beechcraft King Air 250, which hasn’t received a bid. The one plane that had a bid is a four-seat 1978 Cessna Skylane, priced at roughly $66,800.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services spokeswoman Meredith Krantz said Gov. Bruce Rauner is committed to selling the planes. The administration plans to look at other ways to get rid of them.

“Maybe iBid is not the best platform to sell them,” Krantz said.

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