'Beautiful views and habor... in need of bit of biohazard work': Government tries to sell $80m animal disease island to pay off its debts
Plum island set to fetch between $50-$80 million
Last updated at 1:29 PM on 30th September 2011
With the country's deficit in the region of $1.4 trillion, proposals draw up by White House officials are exploring the idea of selling various government properties in a bid to raise funds.
Plum island, once home to the Animal Disease Centre, is expected to fetch between $50-80 million
Government officials have intimated that up to $22 billion can be generated from the sale of various unused properties, buildings and land with Plum Island in Suffolk County is one of the most notable candidates.
The island off the coast of Long Island is 3 miles long and has a current value between $50-80 million.
It was once home to Plum Island Animal Disease Centre where various studies where carried out, into the prevention of contamination in the nation's food supply.
However since 2003, when the Department of Homeland Security reclaimed the land, it has been seen as redundant given the various testing that took place on the island.
And given the large sums it would cost in order to complete a full cleanup of the site, the most cost-effective option would be to sell the land.
With that in mind, the 840 acres of land is being marketed as a 'sandy shoreline, beautiful views and a harbor,' in need of a bit of 'biohazard remediation.'
As President Obama prepares for a second election campaign he is looking at ways to cut the deficit
Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is advocating the move. He noted: 'It’s a very compelling initiative that has very broad national support.
'It’s market oriented, it contributes to deficit reduction, and it gets big things done that really everyone supports.'
The move comes as now surprise following similar sales by The Pentagon and the Postal Service, that have both sold buildings and generated much revenue.
According to figures released by the Congressional Budget Office, sales of 350 closed military installations produced $1.5 billion over the last 20 years.
Meanwhile, The Postal Service raised $180 million from the sale or lease of properties last year alone, and postal authorities have identified an additional 3,653 post offices that could soon close or face consolidation.
When the Obama administration initially proposed the review, it identified more than 12,000 properties for potential sale, of which only 1 percent were actually available at the time.
However, many of those building are believed to be under a further review as the White House attempt to cut the U.S. deficit even further.