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Opinion

January 31, 2013

For sale: state property

NORMAN — Oklahoma owns 6,910 buildings. It leases about 1,000 more spaces. Many, like some of the owne on the Griffin Hospital campus, are in disrepair. When times were good, the state didn’t spend money to maintain them. When times turned bad, maintenance and repair was the first thing cut.

Now, with interest in spending $150 million for repairs at the state capitol building, the state is looking at ways to rid itself of some surplus properties. The Tulsa World reports that House Speaker T.W. Shannon is working on a plan to sell off some buildings to fund repairs.

The state for some time has discussed selling excess Griffin Hospital properties. The state’s property at 12th Avenue Northeast and Alameda Street was sold several years ago. Similarly, state property at Robinson Street and 12th Avenue Northeast has also been considered.

Any sale could free up cash to pay for maintenance on buildings the state keeps and the capitol and keep low the size of any additional debt. It’s a win-win situation for the state.

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