The lengthy shutdown process for the Saskatchewan Transit Company hit another milestone as small machines and tools were auctioned off to the highest bidder, in person or online.
Hilco Global, based in Illinois, purchased STC's assets in 2017 for an undisclosed amount, after the Saskatchewan government announced the bus service would be discontinued.
Hilco's assets now include a mobile fleet, commercial vehicles, buses, and smaller support equipment.
"It also included cleaning out office facilities and regional STC facilities for the bus depots and stops around the province," said senior vice-president Brian Courcier.
"All the assets are either in Saskatoon or in the office space in Regina."
'Bittersweet' for bidders
Small vehicles, wrenches, and shop tools of all sorts were sold in a live auction in Saskatoon on Thursday.
While office furniture and filing cabinets were displayed by a projector, since they are being stored in Regina, an entire warehouse of machines and small parts were on display in Saskatoon.
Darren Brayshaw perused the nuts and bolts on Thursday before taking his seat at the live auction.
"I've never been to an auction as big as this one, with all the tools and equipment. Such a big corporation that has closed down here in Saskatchewan," he said.
He calls the experience "bittersweet."
"A lot of people needed transportation and it's not there for them now. That's the bitter part. The sweet part is that maybe I will find a few deals on tools here that I can use at home or in my small shop space," said Brayshaw.
Hilco estimated about 250 will register for the live auction. About 150 people were registered online by Thursday morning.
"It was a well-run organization, despite it having closed its doors, and a lot of the equipment here is sought after by former employees," said Courcier.
"They know the quality of it and they're here to buy it for themselves."
Auction value is typically lower than retail, so chances are the former employees will get a deal, according to Courcier.
Sold as is, where is
While anyone can purchase STC equipment from Hilco, there are conditions.
Removal is required by March 23. If an item goes unsold, it will be offered to buyers who have already purchased similar items.
The process for STC's bus fleet will be a more private affair, with a sealed bid.
The sale will also be open to the public, but bids on individual buses, or groups of buses, will not be publicized.
The live auction of smaller equipment is expected to take approximately 10 hours.