Tags: Veterans | veterans affairs | close | vacant | buildings | save | money

VA Looking to Close Vacant, Unused Buildings to Save Money

Image: VA Looking to Close Vacant, Unused Buildings to Save Money
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:11 AM

The Trump administration is looking into saving money for the Department of Veterans Affairs by getting rid of more than 1,200 vacant or barely used buildings that the agency owns, according to The Hill. 

"Maintaining excess property is just something more on the VA's plate. Maintaining heating and air conditioning and plumbing in a vacant building is not a dollar well spent," Joe Davis, spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars, told The Hill.

"Even though dollar amounts saved from this may not seem large, on the grand scale of things, it's still significant. It needs to be done."

The VA owns 6,200 buildings, of which 1,200 are vacant or barely used warehouses, sheds, garages, greenhouses, dorms, and other structures, usually older and part of medical campuses, The Hill noted.

No plans for the structures were specified in Trump's VA budget, but an infrastructure plan fact sheet included some information about possible plans.

"The budget includes proposals to expand VA's authority to lease out its vacant assets for commercial or mixed-use purposes and to speed its ability to pursue facility renovations and improvements. Future reforms will encourage public-private partnerships and reduce barriers to acquisition, contracting, and disposals," the fact sheet said, according to The Hill.

VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a House appropriations hearing on May 3 they might use BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure), the same process the Pentagon uses to decide which buildings to close, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

"I could be using that money to support the capital needs of buildings and facilities that are helping veterans," Shulkin said at the hearing, according to The Hill.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have expressed support for disposing of the extra buildings. The plans "seems like a commonsense way to save millions," Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., told The Hill. 

Lawmakers from both sides are likely to support the closures because they have little effect on jobs, says Phillip Carter, a veterans expert at the Center for a New American Security veterans expert.

"Lawmakers understand the political costs of allowing another access crisis in the VA," Carter said, according to The Hill.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
The Trump administration is looking into saving money for the Department of Veterans Affairs by getting rid of more than 1,200 vacant or barely used buildings that the agency owns, according to The Hill.
veterans affairs, close, vacant, buildings, save, money
353
2017-11-24
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:11 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved