- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Central Management Services plans to relist six state-owned airplanes for sale on an online auction site after a previous attempt to lure buyers brought bids for only two planes, state officials said.

The auction for the unsold planes will have a new closing date of Dec. 15, agency spokeswoman Alka Nayyar told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (https://bit.ly/1vs2JjR) for a Tuesday story.

“This is consistent with industry practices - airplane sales can take as long as 6-9 months,” Nayyar said.

Gov. Pat Quinn ordered the sale of half of the state’s airplanes as an effort to save about $7 million a year when he approved the 2015 state budget in June. The planes up for sale have an appraised value of $4 million.

Bidders must meet a base price. For example the minimum bid for a 1999 Beechcraft King Air 250 was about $2.5 million and a 1991 Sikorsky helicopter has a minimum bid of about $933,500.

The two planes that sold in the Monday auction were a 1975 single-engine Cessna for $67,000 and a 1967 single-engine Cessna for about $62,500.

Other state lawmakers have supported Quinn’s idea to sell the airplanes.

State Rep. Bill Mitchell, a Forsyth Republican, had introduced legislation to decrease the state’s airplane fleet and Decatur Democratic state Rep. Sue Scherer has said the state could save money if it had fewer airplanes.

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