City surplus sale a hit with customers

MARSHALL – It took place in a garage, true. But with table after table full of glass bud vases, baskets and ceramic planters, it was hardly a typical garage sale. As other customers browsed the tables, Alice Downing dug through a box of green plastic dishes. They were supplies used for making floral arrangements, she said. Downing showed sale worker Chris DeVos how the dishes attached to other decorative pieces that had been placed on a different table.

“The funny thing is, I work in a floral shop,” Downing said of her visit to the “Moonlight Madness Garage Sale” Thursday evening at the Marshall municipal building.

From time to time, the city of Marshall holds public sales to help get rid of surplus property. Usually, that property can be anything from old office equipment to abandoned bicycles picked up by Marshall Police and never claimed by their owners. But Thursday’s event had some unusual extras: inventory and even some fixtures from the former Bud Rose floral shop. The city recently acquired the property, located at the corner of Fairgrounds Road and Minnesota Highway 19.

The city plans to demolish the old shop and greenhouse, said Marshall Public Works Director Glenn Olson. So, any remaining items inside were being cleared out. Meanwhile, the house standing next door to the old floral shop has been sold to another buyer. Olson said the buyer will be moving the house later this fall.

There aren’t any plans to build on the property once the floral shop is gone, Olson said. The land lies within the flyway of the Marshall airport, so new construction isn’t really an option. However, Olson said one possible option could be to use the land for community gardens. There’s still a working well on the property, which would be convenient for watering vegetables.

In the meantime, local residents were having fun looking through the containers and decorative items for sale. They were all laid out next to inspirational photos of craft projects they could be used for.

Pam Russell said she wasn’t sure if she would be buying anything from the garage sale.

“Maybe if I did more crafting stuff,” Russell said. But, she said, “It’s fun to come and look.”