Thursday, August 20, 2009

City Officials Likely To Be Stymied On Federal Building

Laconia City Manager Eileen Cabanel and the mayor and City Council are apparently going to be thwarted in their efforts to prevent the Laconia Federal Building from being used to assist homeless people.

Genesis Behavorial Health has applied for ownership of the surplus facility, and given that the mental health agency provides mental health services to the homeless, its application to take ownership of the building is likely to be approved by the General Services Administration.

Federal law requires that surplus buildings that are deemed suitable for providing services to the homeless must first be offered to agencies serving the homeless population before making them available for other local or state governmental use, or for public auction.

Genesis has indicated that if it is awarded the property it will sell two buildings and parcels of land it owns in the city and combine operations in the Federal Building. That should please city officials since it would allow the existing properties to be placed on the tax rolls. Currently they are exempted from property tax because Genesis is a non-profit organization.

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