Surplus Fire Towers
When the Florida Forest Service decides a fire tower is no longer needed as a primary, secondary or reserve tower, the decision can be made to sell the fire tower as surplus state property. The approval to surplus a fire tower must be approved by the Florida Forest Service Director and Chief of Forest Protection.
Depending upon the situation, a fire tower may be sold with the land the tower is sitting on, or just by itself. The process of selling a tower with land is handled by the Florida Forest Service’s Land Acquisition Section as a Surplus Property Sale; whereas selling a tower without land is handled by the respective Florida Forest Service Field Unit. In both cases, the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ General Services Bureau assists the Florida Forest Service with the surplus and selling process.
After a Forestry Field Unit receives approval to sell a fire tower, an “Invitation to Bid” (ITB) is developed, which includes specific information about the tower being sold as well as the terms and conditions of the sale. This ITB is advertised by the General Services Bureau for 30 days on the State of Florida Vendor Bid System. At the end of the 30 day period the person who submits the highest bid is awarded the fire tower.
Interested in Purchasing A Fire Tower?
A person deciding to submit a bid to purchase a fire tower should be aware of the following:
Persons interested in being notified that an Invitation To Bid for a fire tower has been advertised may submit this
to be placed on the “Tower Only” list and should include name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.
- Prospective bidders are allowed to visit the fire tower site to view the tower before submitting a bid. However, they may not be allowed to climb the stairs to the tower cabin due to safety and liability concerns.
- All bidders are expected to submit a $500.00 Deposit Cashier’s Check for the tower with their bid, regardless of the amount of their bid. This deposit will
be returned to all low bidders. The deposit of the high bidder will be kept as part of the high bid/purchase price. If the winning high bid is less than $500, the high
bidder will have their deposit returned to them and be asked to submit a cashier’s check for the amount of their winning bid.
- The high bidder is expected to dismantle and deliver their tower to its new destination. Historically, fire towers are dismantled in sections with the assistance of
a buyer-provided crane and loaded on a buyer-provided flat bed and hauled away. Florida Forest Service staff will usually witness the tower removal to make sure no damage
occurs to Forestry property at the site. Please be aware that the cost of dismantling and moving a fire tower is typically higher
than the cost of the tower itself, especially if a potential bidder must contract persons and equipment to dismantle and haul the fire tower away.
Florida Forest Service
3125 Conner Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650