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NCGA Moving Forward On State Property Sales

Publisher's note: The author of this post is Barry Smith, who is an associate editor for the Carolina Journal, John Hood Publisher.

Lawmakers also planning property management system to use buildings more efficiently

 RALEIGH     Lawmakers are moving forward with plans to sell houses and other real properties owned by the state that are unused, or have not been used to their full potential.

 They're also preparing a plan to improve the management of state properties and prevent the state from entering into leases if it owns buildings that are vacant and satisfy the need of the agency seeking space.

 On Monday, a subcommittee of the General Assembly's Program Evaluation Oversight Committee recommended more aggressive measures to categorize such properties and sell those that aren't needed.

"We do not have a good clear picture on what is the best thing to do with our state property," Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, who chairs the subcommittee, said after the meeting. "By initiating this legislation, we will have much better best practice management of our property so that we can make sure we're being good stewards of the taxpayers money."

 The draft legislation calls for the Department of Administration to develop a comprehensive property management system for state government agencies and departments, including a surplus property identification and disposal system. Other agencies would also be required to inventory real property they control.

 A second proposal would require the Department of Administration to sell 12 houses near the Legislative Office Building where the subcommittee met.

 Tim Walton of the State Property Office told the members that the office has accepted contracts on five of the 12 properties. "A majority of them were above our asking price," Walton said.

 The proposal also would require the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to sell two properties, an animal diagnostic lab in Rose Hill and land adjacent to the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Greensboro.

 Subcommittee members decided not to include property originally planned to be a livestock show and sale facility in Statesville because Mitchell Community College is interested in the property.

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