Thousands of pieces of state-owned property - including one on McKinley Avenue where prisoners quarried stone to build the Statehouse - are unused and uncataloged, state Treasurer Richard Cordray said today.
Cordray, who has been in office since Jan. 8, has already done a preliminary inventory of state property in 20 counties.
He found 7,364 parcels of state property. He estimated 446 of those could be sold for private development or use for community projects. The McKinley Avenue plot, 12 acres just south of I-670 is valued at $312,000, his office said.
Cordray said years of "disorganization and lack of accountability" means the state does not even know all of the property that it owns....
and an AP story found at 10TV:
...Among first 20 counties inventoried are Franklin, which includes Columbus; Lucas, which includes Toledo; Hamilton, which includes Cincinnati; and Stark, which includes Canton.
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said a coordinated effort between the state and cities, where most of the abandoned properties are located, could bring new life to struggling areas such as the McKinley Avenue area.
"Vacant, state-owned land does nothing to help the economy or build our local tax base, and we can change that by working together to put properties into the hands of people who can and will develop them for housing or commercial sites," he said.
Cordray has told Gov. Ted Strickland, a fellow Democrat, that he can complete the inventory statewide in two or three months, and would then like to see a commission appointed that would spend 90 days gathering local input on which are the most promising properties for development.
After that, the state would begin accepting both public and private proposals for developing the land.
Strickland said in a statement that Cordray "truly understands the challenging budget we are facing and is creating an opportunity through his office to achieve real savings."
Absolutely amazing! What the heck did the Republicans do while they were in power? Why has all this land been sitting empty and undeveloped?
Congratulations to Cordray and his staff for their work! We are looking forward to other items that were neglected by the Republicans.