The price tag to maintain federal real estate grew by more than $1.5 billion in 2010, according to a new government report.
To keep up nearly 3.3 billion square feet of property — about the size of Atlanta — the government paid $30.7 billion, up from $29.2 billion in 2009, the General Services Administration says in the new report, released Friday. The property count excludes some Defense Department facilities.
Maintenance costs cover utilities, cleaning, building repairs, trash disposal and groundskeeping. Maintenance of leased properties includes rent as well.
The cost of maintaining excess and underutilized property, however, fell from $1.8 billion annually to $1.6 billion in 2010.
Agencies have stepped up their efforts to dispose of excess and underutilized federal properties after President Obama called upon them to save $3 billion in real estate costs between 2010 and the end of 2012.
Agencies spent on average $5.30 per square foot annually to operate owned space and $15.00 to operate leased space — up from $12.80 in 2009.