Water Resources:

Corps of Engineers' Transfer of Three Townsites

RCED-89-42: Published: Dec 29, 1988. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Army Corps of Engineers' transfers to municipal ownership of three townsites it constructed while working on two dam projects, focusing on whether the Army: (1) properly maintained the townsites' public facilities prior to the transfer; (2) was responsible for maintenance of a school at one of the townsites; and (3) was liable for repairing the townsites' public facilities or the school.

GAO found that the Army: (1) transferred the Fort Peck, Montana, Riverdale, North Dakota, and Pickstown, South Dakota, townsites to municipal ownership in July and August 1986; (2) consistently provided financial support for upkeep of the townsites' public facilities, with annual expenditures averaging $1.5 million for the last 5 years before the transfers; (3) had spent about $8.7 million since fiscal year 1981 to rehabilitate and improve the townsites' road, water, electrical, and sewer systems; (4) constructed the original Riverdale school building and permitted the area school district to use and occupy the school with responsibility for facility operation, maintenance, and repair; and (5) was not responsible for about $1 million in repairs that the school needed to comply with federal, state, and local standards, since it made no representations as to the school's condition when it transferred ownership.

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