Politics & Government

State sells lot to Franklin County for courthouse construction staging area

FRANKFORT — The state has sold surplus land for more than $7.45 million in the past 18 months as part of an effort to streamline government and generate cash.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that the state sold a 2.1-acre parcel to Franklin County for about $78,750, the appraised value. That sale brings the total amount of money generated by selling state property to $7.45 million.

The state has sold about 12 properties in addition to selling right-of-way easements since January 2010.

Franklin County Judge-Executive Ted Collins said Thursday that the lot off Holmes Street will be used as a staging area for the construction of a downtown courthouse. There is no room to house building materials on the current site on St. Clair Avenue, he said. Collins said it's not clear what the county will do with the land after construction is completed in the next two years.

The Beshear administration has sold other property and assets as the state has struggled to make ends meet. In May, the state sold two airplanes for $230,000 on the online auction site eBay.

That money went into the general fund to pay for government expenses, he said.

The lot on Holmes Street once housed the Finance and Administration Cabinet's Division of Surplus Property, which oversees land and property the state no longer uses. The building was razed in 1999 and the lot has been vacant since then. The state gives local governments the option of buying the land before it puts the property on the market, Beshear said Thursday.