The Union Recorder

Local News

May 17, 2013

CSH board forms state property task force

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) introduced a “Central State Hospital Legislative Initiative” Wednesday.

The joint City of Milledgeville and CSHLRA strategy plans on delivering an actionable plan allowing faster campus state property access. Through a committee of key players led by Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley, the initiative aims to have a decision briefing prepared and presented directly to Gov. Nathan Deal by Aug. 15.

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, according to CSHLRA Vice Chair Dudley Rowe.

“What we have today is really not satisfactory,” Rowe said during Wednesday’s board meeting. “We have to have a process that speeds up and gives us what we need when we go to the marketplace to get commitments.”

Executive Director Mike Couch said the board wishes for help from the State Properties Commission (SPC) that regulates, mandates and leverages all Georgia property assets and buildings.

“This authority was established eight months ago by House Bill 815. As part of that statute when we briefed the governor and worked with the legislature, we told them we will do the work of an authority, but we need some help and relief from the State Properties Commission,” Couch said.

The bottom line is Central State’s 200-plus buildings aren’t market ready.

“We told Gov. Deal that we need to rework the way the state interacts with communities that are encumbered with properties that are drags on their tax rolls that can be put to better use by a public or private user,” the CSHLRA director said. “For us to be competitively market ready, I’ve got to act as a real estate broker and developer. I have to have buildings I can work with.”

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