Review of Costs To Close the Frankford Arsenal

PLRD-82-53: Published: May 19, 1982. Publicly Released: May 21, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the costs associated with the closing of the Frankford Arsenal in Pennsylvania. GAO was also asked to review why the Army incurred costs to paint buildings at Frankford that may eventually be demolished.

GAO believes that the Army's estimate of $66 million to close Frankford Arsenal is reasonable. However, caretaker costs will increase the $66 million dollar estimate by about $700,000 annually until Frankford is disposed of, and the $66 million figure is far above the original estimate of $29 million. GAO stated that the increased costs to close Frankford are primarily attributable to: (1) an unanticipated operating loss caused by a slippage in personnel transfer and separation dates, (2) unanticipated decontamination costs, and (3) increased caretaker costs. GAO also stated that the Army decided to paint some of the buildings at Frankford, because the General Services Administration (GSA) said that the Army would have to certify that the property could be conveyed without restrictions before GSA would accept the Frankford Arsenal as excess property. GSA did not specify what needed to be done as a prerequisite for the certification. The Army decided that it would have to paint some of the building interiors before it could provide GSA with such a certification. GSA concluded that the decision to paint the buildings was premature. Given the condition of the buildings, future occupants might want to repaint the interior or accept the unpainted buildings if they are going to be used for industrial purposes.

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