The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 1, 2013

Speaker’s bill calls for downsizing state-owned properties

EDMOND — None of the state of Oklahoma’s most underutilized properties are located within the City of Edmond, according to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. A 2012 report of the 5 percent most underutilized state properties was ordered by the state Legislature to enable a comprehensive property listing.

A beneficial aspect of government efficiency will be the reduction of underutilized office space, Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon said this week to The Edmond Sun.

“I’ve been working for the last couple of years to evaluate what property the state of Oklahoma owns,” said Shannon, R-Lawton. “We’re the largest state owner of property, but we still don’t know how much we own.”

Underutilized assets should be liquidated, while also funding and repairing vital assets to the state, he said. Repairs to the state Capitol and fulfilling the infrastructure needs of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner should be resolved, Shannon said.

State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said performance metrics also allows employees to work efficiently from their own home, reducing the property cost of the state’s footprint. This enables telework and allows the state to reduce the size of its real property footprint, said Murphey, chairman of the House Government Modernization Committee. Many of those properties can be put back in the free market to produce tax revenue, he added.

“We know that the income from privatizing underutilized property should be in the millions,” Murphey said. “If you look at the replacement value of those properties/buildings it likely runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The actual market-driven price may be less than this, Murphey said. Understanding a property’s replacement value is important when realizing how much money the state has invested in properties that are underutilized, he added.

“It is our goal to stop this practice,” Murphey said.

Properties are listed in a tier system with Tier 3 defined as the most underutilized. These state-owned properties include three Department of Human Services entities; the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center at Enid, the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center at Pauls Valley and the Laura Dester Center in Tulsa.

Other state-owned property on the list includes the Haskell Building, located at Conners State College in Muskogee; the former Oklahoma City central laboratory of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, a Tulsa office studio of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority; and the State Capitol Publishing Museum, located in Guthrie and operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The museum closed indefinitely in 2012.

“We also know that there are other savings to be found by looking at that report,” Murphey continued. “For instance, we can walk-back the state’s dependence on leasing space by forcing state government to avoid those costs by better utilizing the space it does have.”

Millions of dollars saved each year could fund deferred maintenance without debt issuance, Murphey said.

“The Speaker’s House Bill 1910, which we won approval for in the Government Modernization committee on Thursday, does all of this,” Murphey said. “It forces the state to stop the practice of allowing state agencies to lease space when state-owned space sits unused.”

Also, state officials will continue to be required to study and identify underutilized properties each year.

TO LEARN MORE about the states most underutilized properties, visit

Text Only
Local News
  • earth day 7.jpg Central community learns about water conservation

    Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
    Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
    During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • pic 2.JPG Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion

    Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.
    And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.
    Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 Senate candidates say no to Sharia law

    Whether to deport non-citizen Muslim men in the U.S. who believe violence is justified by Sharia law was a question asked to three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate recently in Oklahoma City. The office is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    Congressman James Lankford said Great Britain has experimented with allowing certain pockets of their nation to function under Sharia law.

    April 22, 2014

  • MS_weather graphic.jpg Local forecast includes multiple severe weather days

    Severe thunderstorms will be possible in the area Wednesday and during the weekend.
    The National Weather Service says severe storms are expected to develop near a dryline across western Oklahoma down into Texas late Wednesday afternoon. Primary concerns will be very large hail and damaging wind gusts.
    During the evening and overnight hours, the storms are expected to form a squall line and move east into central portions of the state. As this occurs, the main threat will become damaging straight-line winds.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Authorities make 8th arrest in Logan Co. homicide

    Authorities have arrested an eighth suspect in a homicide which involved the discovery of a badly burned body along a Logan County road.
    On Jan. 31, firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire in a rural area located south of State Highway 33 between Langston and Guthrie, Logan County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Richard Stephens stated in a previous report. While extinguishing the fire, firefighters discovered a badly burned male body, Stephens said.

    April 22, 2014

  • Citizens Caring for Children to participate in 1-mile walk

    Citizens Caring for Children will join thousands of Oklahomans on Saturday for the fourth annual Walk a Mile in My Shoes foster care awareness walk. The 1-mile walk will take place at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, Oklahoma City, from 9-11 a.m.

    April 22, 2014

  • Police report home burglary outbreak in Edmond

    Police said they are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect linked to a string of residential burglaries with common occurrences.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22 Good Reads

    NOTE: Email to have your name entered into a drawing for “The Noisy Paint Box.” Deadline is 10 a.m. April 28. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18 or older to win.

    April 22, 2014

  • Pom UCO Cheer, Pom finish big at Nationals

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s cheer and pom squads traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., April 10-12 for the National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance College Nationals, bringing home second place trophies in All-Girl Cheer, Dance Hip Hop and Dance Team Division II, and fourth place in Coed Intermediate Cheer.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO presents Missouri poet laureate for reading

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Liberal Arts will host a poetry reading from William Trowbridge, poet laureate for Missouri, 7:30 p.m. April 29 in Pegasus Theater in the Liberal Arts building on Central’s campus.

    April 21, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results