In the ol’ mailbag yesterday:

Just months after beginning his inventory of underused state properties, Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray joined Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and City Council members to cross a significant site off the list and help bring nearly $200,000 dollars into state coffers.

A 12.9-acre parcel on the west side of Columbus, identified through Cordray?s inventory, will be used by the City of Columbus for a new $8 million Division of Police heliport. The sale was authorized in the state?s budget bill and Columbus City Council approved the $194,955 on July 9, 2007.

Good for the city, good for the state, and good for the community. I particularly liked this quote from Cordray:

More than 500 people have to date directly contacted the treasury to provide information on possible uses of properties for their community, or to find information about specific parcels. ?Together we?ve recognized a need and we are working to make a difference,? Cordray added. ?We?re leveling partisan and bureaucratic boundaries in direct response to community needs. Based on the level of interest from individual property owners, local officials, and businesses, the potential for this initiative is widespread and substantive.?

It’s called competent, responsive, responsible government. It’s every liberal’s goal for government. Full text of the release after the jump (It’s going to be a LEED-certified project!).

(Columbus)?Just months after beginning his inventory of underused state properties, Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray joined Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and City Council members to cross a significant site off the list and help bring nearly $200,000 dollars into state coffers.

A 12.9-acre parcel on the west side of Columbus, identified through Cordray?s inventory, will be used by the City of Columbus for a new $8 million Division of Police heliport. The sale was authorized in the state?s budget bill and Columbus City Council approved the $194,955 on July 9, 2007.

?This is a perfect illustration of the usefulness of a viable state-owned lands inventory,? said Cordray. ?A real-time inventory means the state can manage more of its assets in a fiscally responsible, economically sound way that is a win-win situation for everyone.?

?One of my favorite things about this project was how everyone came together,? said Senator Stivers (R-16), who sponsored the budget bill measure allowing the property to be sold. ?We worked as a team for a common goal and walked away with a success. It?s a model of how bipartisanship can work, and work well.?

?This is an investment in public safety and we appreciate the State of Ohio for helping us find such a perfect, central location to make the new home of the Police heliport,? said Mayor Coleman. ?By moving our existing heliport to the Hilltop, we are also making way for new investment and economic development at the Gowdy site, where hundreds of new jobs are coming into the City.?

?I want to thank everyone who was involved in identifying this site and helping the City of Columbus put it to good use,? said Councilmember Hearcel F. Craig. ?This is a great example of inter-government cooperation that will benefit two of the City?s major priorities: public safety in the form of a new location for a modernized heliport, and economic development opportunities by freeing up space at the Gowdy site.?

Cordray?s inventory, now complete, consists of more than half a million acres of state-owned property, distributed over 50,000 unique parcels of land in all 88 counties. Response to the inventory, accessible through the Ohio Treasury Web site, has lead to numerous property identifications and inquiries, Cordray said, with more than 12,000 individuals searching the database since it went online. The database was recently updated to allow visitors to search properties by street address and use other useful features, like direct links to county auditors? parcel cards and interactive mapping.

More than 500 people have to date directly contacted the treasury to provide information on possible uses of properties for their community, or to find information about specific parcels. ?Together we?ve recognized a need and we are working to make a difference,? Cordray added. ?We?re leveling partisan and bureaucratic boundaries in direct response to community needs. Based on the level of interest from individual property owners, local officials, and businesses, the potential for this initiative is widespread and substantive.?

Photo and plan of Heliport site.

BACKGROUND ON CITY HELIPORT:

The Columbus Division of Police Helicopter Unit has been located at 681 W. 3rd Ave. since July of 1975.

The mission of the Helicopter Unit is to provide tactical air support for the entire Division of Police and to a lesser degree other to law enforcement agencies throughout central Ohio. The helicopter unit enhances the Divisions capability in the following way

– Improved police response time
– Improve patrol response by providing accurate scene information to cruisers in route or at scene
– Increase in apprehension rates through aerial observation
– The ability to conduct successful surveillance in day and night conditions
– Gather tactical information at emergencies or special events
– Decrease (not eliminate) the risk associated with high speed pursuits

All the services are available 365 days a year.
Patrol hours are from 12 noon to 4 am, however a helicopter and crew can be available when ever needed.

Over the past 5 years, 2002 through 2006 the Helicopter unit has:

– been involved in over 75,000 demands for service
– arrived first at scene 26,953 or roughly 1/3 of the time
– Average response time over that period 1.6 minutes
– Assisted with over 1,000 felony arrests, and 620 vehicle pursuits
– And provided assistance to other agencies 950 times

Regarding the new Police Heliport:

* Budget total approx $8M
* Site is in legislation/contract with the State of Ohio ($195K).
* Operational components included are: flight/apparatus bay, office space, flight control room, three pad landing tarmac, parking areas, jet fuel tanks, security/fencing.
* Building will be designed utilizing LEED components: roofing system, insulation, HVAC systems, using recycled materials

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