Local News

Morton bill puts sale of unused state-owned land on front burner to help pay agency operating and maintenance costs

Jan 21, 2011

State Sen. Bob Morton, R-Kettle Falls, has introduced a bill directing three state agencies to compile a list of properties under their jurisdiction that have no advantageous use and sell them by Nov. 1, 2012.

Senate Bill 5376 applies to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

"We are looking at a pretty drastic proposal to consolidate or eliminate these agencies because of the budget deficit," Morton said. "I don't want to go that route. We need to do everything we can to keep these agencies afloat."

The departments already have the authority to identify and sell surplus land, but Morton thinks now is a good time to speed up the process.

"My bill is a much better option than eliminating the Fish and Wildlife Commission and closing state parks," Morton said.

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