Youngstown Vindicator: New database maps Ohio-owned properties
Published: Sat, September 29, 2012
By Marc Kovac
The state treasurer’s office has launched an online database that will allow users to map state-owned properties and potentially identify parcels that could be sold to private parties.
Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel announced the new system Friday, converting a list of properties and their legal descriptions into an interactive map that can be searched by address, city or county or by the agency that controls a site.
“It was really not in a useful format, it was the bare minimum by state law,” Mandel said of the former listing. He added later, “Essentially we’re taking something that the state treasurer has done for a long time, and we’ve taken it from a third-grade level to a Ph.D. level.”
Under state law, the treasurer’s office maintains the database, but this is the first time that the a mapping function has been added for the public’s use.
The system is accessible through the treasurer’s website (www.OhioTreasurer.gov), and details of about 36,000 state-owned properties are included.
A next step in the process will be identifying properties that are not being used that could be sold.
Seth Unger, Mandel’s spokesman, said Sen. Frank LaRose, a Republican from Akron, and others are considering legislation that would make it easier to transfer such parcels.
“My guess would be there’s probably hundreds, if not thousands, that can be used, sold, leased to folks in the private sector,” Mandel said.
He added that the system could be used by companies considering oil and gas leases in eastern Ohio, with the growing use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.