PoliticalNews.me - May 21,2012 - Sen. Portman, Rep. Johnson Successfully Push GSA to Speed Up Sale of Excess Federal Property to Belmont County Port Authority
Will Enable Belmont County to Boost Economy, Add Jobs
Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) have successfully pushed the General Services Administration (GSA) to speed up the sale of abandoned federal property to the Belmont County Port Authority. The move will allow the Port Authority to lease the property to a neighboring business that wants to use it to expand operations and add jobs.
"This is great news for Belmont County, which will see much needed job creation and economic expansion,” said Portman. “I’m glad that after years of dealing with the bureaucratic red tape at GSA that Belmont County will finally be able put this abandoned property to good use. This is a good example of why legislation I’ve introduced to facilitate the disposal of underutilized and unneeded federal property should be taken up immediately.”
"This is a big win for Belmont County. The transition of this property from the federal government to the Port Authority will lead to local economic development and jobs in Belmont County. I want to thank Senator Portman for working with me in pushing the General Services Administration (GSA) and cutting through the red tape to get this project done."
For years, the Belmont County Port Authority has been trying to obtain abandoned Army Reserve property and use it for pro-growth economic expansion. The Port Authority has finally received permission to acquire it from GSA after Portman and Johnson stepped in to speed up the sale.
Last March, Portman introduced important bipartisan deficit reduction legislation that would assist federal agencies in improving the disposal and management of federal buildings and facilities. The Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2012 would help facilitate the disposal of underutilized and unneeded federal property and establish a framework for federal agencies to better manage existing space in a more cost-effective manner.
The federal government owns over one million properties across the county, making it the largest property owner in the United States. In fact, every year since January 2003, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has placed real property management on its list of "high risk" government activities, citing long-standing problems with excess and underutilized property; deteriorating and aging facilities; unreliable property data; and a heavy reliance on costly leasing instead of ownership to meet new needs. In fiscal year 2009, 24 federal agencies reported that they possessed more than 14,000 excess and 45,000 underutilized buildings that cost more than $1.7 billion annually to operate.