The Union Recorder

Local News

July 18, 2013

Mayor encouraged by state property initiative progress

MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley returned to Wednesday’s Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) meeting to brief the board on the Central State Hospital Legislative Initiative’s progress.

The joint City of Milledgeville and CSHLRA strategy plans on delivering an actionable plan allowing faster access to 200 buildings and 2,000 acres on the hospital campus. The authority needs the ability to expeditiously access properties, either by change in Georgia statute or administrative rule, allowing true privatization of CSH real estate. 

Right now, the State Properties Commission (SPC) declares zero hospital buildings surplus. The bottom line is Central State’s 200-plus buildings aren’t market-ready under the current law.

Through a committee of key players led by Bentley, the initiative aims to have a decision briefing prepared and presented directly to Gov. Nathan Deal by Aug. 15.

“I fully expect that when we tell him what we’d like to do and what we need here that (Gov. Deal) will be supportive of that,” Bentley said.

The CSH Legislative Initiative task force includes Baldwin County Commissioner Sammy Hall, Johnny Grant, community engagement and economic development director for Georgia College and CSHLRA board member, CSHLRA Chair Quay Fuller, city attorney Jimmy Jordan, Rowe, CSHLRA board member Russ Walden, Couch and attorney David Waddell. Other influencers such as state Rep. Rusty Kidd, state Sen. Burt Jones, law firm Troutman Sanders, Central Georgia Technical College President Dr. Ivan Allen, Georgia Military College President Emeritus Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan (Ret.) and the SPC commissioner will assist the effort along with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Georgia Trust and the state Chamber of Commerce.

Allowing property sale or a long-term 40-year lease similar to the Riverbend Correctional deal are welcome outcomes, according to the mayor.

Though the SPC just approved three Central State leases, that structure isn’t enough for every building.

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