Missouri has abandoned and underutilized state property out there, but how much is unknown.
State Representative Randy Railsback, R-Hamilton, is proposing to create a statewide task force responsible for figuring that out. The panel would also recommend whether Missouri should hold onto the property or sell it.
“Every department’s got their hands full as it is. Everybody’s working hard,” he says. “And this is this one of those things has been easy to just let slide and not deal with. My point is, let’s all help out here and let’s help this task force take some of the load off of the administration, so to speak. Otherwise, it’s just one year turns into 10 and we’re still sitting there and that’s what I want to stop.”
He says holding onto abandoned property adds up.
“There’s other buildings when you add them up, they’ll probably be surprised how much we’re spending on heating, cooling, insurance, property maintenance and stuff like that. The bottom line is we simply don’t know how many buildings we’re even talking about right now but we know they’re out there,” says Railsback. “This is just simply a mechanism to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to figure out what we’ve got. We’re gonna make decisions about what we have. We’re not going to waste money. We’re not going to abandon buildings and just let them sit there and rot.’ We’re going to figure out the best practical future uses for them and make those decisions.”
A state House committee is reviewing his proposal.
“You put this pandemic on top of it where we found that a lot of people in this day and age could do their work and not be in an office building all the time,” says Railsback. “It’s time to rethink some of those facilities. There’s buildings that communities could use or other groups could use.”
Arnie Dienoff, who spoke in opposition to the bill, said Missouri already has numerous state building boards and commissions, in addition to a state Facilities Management Division.
To view House Bill 1757, click here.
To listen to the Show Me Today interview with Representative Randy Railsback, click below.
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