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Northampton eyes online auctions to get rid of surplus items

Looking for an old police car or fire truck? A grader or dump truck? How about used library furniture or office supplies?

Just like police have an online site where they put unclaimed items up for auction — propertyroom.com — so to do municipalities. It’s called municibid.com, a sort-of eBay of government surplus for other municipalities and the public.

City departments may soon begin using this online auction site to sell unwanted items. The City Council earlier this month updated procedures for disposal of surplus property worth $100 to $5,000, allowing the use of auction websites.

Like eBay, municibid.com allows people bid on items in a variety of categories, with ads for sporting goods (mainly bicycles) topping the list this week. Other categories include vehicles, computers, energy and kitchen equipment and office supplies.

Municipalities and the public can use the site for free.

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Voter registration

If you’ve been meaning to register to vote for next month’s election, Wednesday is the last day to do so.

The Board of Registrars, located on City Hall’s main floor, room 4, will stay open until 8 p.m. Wednesday to handle registrations that will allow people to vote in the presidential, state and special municipal elections to be held Nov. 6.

Wednesday is also the last day to make name and address changes to be in effect for the municipal election.

Voters who can’t make it to City Hall may also register by mail. Forms are available at the Northampton, Florence and Leeds post offices. Mail-in registration forms must be received or postmarked on or before Wednesday.

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Absentee ballots

Absentee ballots are available in the city clerk’s office for the state and special municipal elections. Voters who will be absent from the city during the hours when polls are open — 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. — may vote at the City Clerk’s office between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Voter may also apply for absentee ballots if they are physically disabled or because of a religious belief. Upon receipt of a written request, a ballot will be mailed to the voter. The ballot may be returned by mail, or hand-delivered by the voter or a family member to the City Clerk’s office, on or before Nov. 6. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Monday, Nov. 5, at noon.

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Four-way stop on hold

Plans for installation of stop signs at the intersection of Prospect and Jackson streets and Woodlawn Avenue, originally scheduled for a three-month pilot period this fall, have been postponed to next spring or summer.

Department of Public Works officials requested the delay due to concerns about holding the trial in inclement weather.

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission previously performed a traffic analysis of the oddly shaped intersection and found that a four-way stop is warranted due to the number of vehicles using the streets. The stop-sign project qualifies for a new state Department of Transportation initiative the city has applied for.

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Flu clinic

The city will hold a flu clinic for municipal employees and retirees Thursday in the Council Chambers of the Puchalski Municipal Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Mayor David J. Narkewicz the first in line to receive a vaccine.

Health Director Merridith O’Leary said the city is encouraging its workers to get vaccinated, not only to keep them healthy but also to curb the amount of costs — medical, lost wages, productivity and more — associated with influenza each year.

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