Imprudent property purchases bring bills, headaches

A Daily Mail editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia state government went on a buying spree in recent years, and the bill has come due at a time when the state can least afford it.

A legislative audit reveals that the state has an “overextended stock of real property that it cannot properly maintain or operate.” The result: Taxpayers are paying for buildings that are sitting empty because they are unneeded or unusable.

Some would require new roofs or other costly upgrades to make them suitable for occupancy.

Even worse: Many of the buildings already had problems when the state purchased them, but officials failed to get the engineering inspections that would have identified the deficiencies.

Why was the state buying these buildings in the first place? It never made moves to make some of them usable, so the purchases don’t appear to have been prompted by any real need for office space or other facilities.

 How did the state become saddled with this many unused, expensive properties?

Acting Administration Secretary Jason Pizatella told lawmakers that many of the questionable purchases happened when Lottery money was rapidly filling state coffers…

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