Validity of Payments by the Fish and Wildlife Service to Tenants Residing on a Boatyard Acquired by the FWS in Alviso, California

CED-79-95: Published: Jun 15, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 1979.

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As part of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Acquisition, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) purchased 5 acres of land in Alviso, California. The land acquired was being used as a boat works, and FWS determined that 99 tenants on the land would be eligible for relocation. Estimating that it would cost from $25 to $200 for each boat move, FWS believed that relocation would total about $132,000 to assist the tenants in moving their personal property. Unfortunately, FWS found it necessary to hire commercial moving firms, with the result that the relocation cost FWS $565,624.

GAO found no evidence of excessive payments to boatowners to relocate their boats. Relocating tenants and moving the boats from the boatyard, however, was much more costly and difficult than FWS had anticipated. The extra costs were not considered by FWS in its decision to acquire the boatyard.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, FWS, to determine in the future whether there are complicating circumstances which could cause relocation problems and increase relocation costs before acquiring lands with tenants. Any unusual relocating problems and extra costs should then be considered in deciding whether the land should be acquired.

    Agency Affected:


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