Free furniture was going, going, gone at the Waterbury office complex Thursday.
"It was a madhouse. Yeah, it was crazy," said Mark Casey of the Vt. Department of Buildings and General Services.
Dozens of municipalities and schools from around the state emptied the warehouse set aside for the tag sale.
"It's always a good thing, especially in this economy. You know, building a town office, that in itself is going to be pretty pricey," said Jennifer Peterson, the town clerk in Waitsfield.
Peterson picked up a bookcase and a file cabinet for the town of Waitsfield. Tropical Storm Irene flooded their town offices and they're looking to move.
"Maybe a conference table, maybe some conference chairs, anything we think down the road we could use and not have to cost taxpayers money," Peterson said.
Most of the furniture has been sitting inside the Waterbury complex since Irene. If furniture has a tag on it, then it's going back to a state office. But if it isn't marked, it's fair game.
Crew members weren't expecting the rush they got Thursday morning which cleaned them out. The tag sale was supposed to continue for nonprofits Friday and for the public Saturday. Now those dates have been moved to next Friday, July 21, for nonprofits, the following Friday, July 28, for cities and towns again, and Saturday, Aug. 4, for the public. They just don't have enough time to bring what's left inside the complex down in time to beat the rush.
"We figured we'd have enough stuff to last four days. Now, we're lucky we made it a day and a half. That's why we're restocking now," Casey said.
Twenty-five percent of the stock has been set aside for state office workers displaced around Vermont. The rest will be given away. What's sold to the public will go back into the general fund.
"A desk that I'd normally get for 65 bucks out of my warehouse I'll sell for 20 bucks," Casey said.
Proof that some of what Irene tried to trash turned out to be a statewide treasure.
Supervisors say they hope they're making the right decision by giving away this furniture. When the complex is back in three years it's expected to have new furniture along with the furniture currently being used by state workers statewide.
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