U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee, today released the following statement regarding the General Service Administration's announcement of an online auction for the West Heating Plant in Georgetown set to begin in January 2013:
"As the auction process for the Georgetown Plant moves forward, our Committee will continue to follow this project and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent properly," said Denham. "This is another step in the right direction to decreasing the federal footprint and reducing our debt. With over 14,000 properties currently listed as unneeded, we have a long way to go. In order to make this process more efficient, cost-effective and transparent, we need to pass the Civilian Property Realignment Act this year as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations."
Denham and the Transportation Committee have held hearings since the beginning of 2011 in valuable but empty and underutilized federal buildings -- including the Georgetown West Heating Plant -- across the country and in Washington, DC. Today's GSA proposal is the latest example of the Committee actions pressuring the agency into long-delayed positive movement on these assets.
Denham introduced H.R. 1734, the Civilian Property Realignment Act, passed by the House earlier this year, which would significantly improve federal real property management, and create savings by shrinking the federal footprint and selling or redeveloping underutilized buildings through a BRAC-like process.
Additional Committee hearings focusing on GSA's mismanagement of the federal government's real estate include:
August 17, 2012: Hearing in Los Angeles on a proposed but unnecessary new courthouse, the construction of which would create another empty federal building
August 6, 2012: Hearing at the empty David W. Dyer Courthouse in Miami
June 19, 2012: Hearing at the empty Georgetown Heating Plant
March 22, 2012: Hearing at the empty Cotton Annex
February 9, 2012: 2nd Hearing at the empty Old Post Office Annex
February 10, 2011: 1st Hearing at the empty Old Post Office Annex