As part of ongoing subtle austerity measures, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced Monday that as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, they will transfer ownership of 12 lighthouses to willing non-federal-government organizations. Eligible state or local governments, non-profit corporations, historic preservation groups, or community development organizations have 60 days to file a letter expressing interest in the properties. If no suitable taker is found, then a public auction will take place. The measure is part of President Obama’s initiative to save $1.5 billion in federal money by reducing overhead costs of maintaining federal real estate, and the GSA claims that they are on track to save $3.5 billion by the end of the year.
According to GSA’s Acting Commissioner of Public Buildings Linda Chero, “Through the preservation program, GSA helps find new stewards for excess lighthouses that are no longer considered mission critical to the United States Coast Guard.” GSA will soon issue Notices of Availability for the following light stations: Ontonagon West Pierhead Light, Manistique Light, Stannard Rock Light, and Fourteen Foot Shoal Light in Michigan; Liston Rear Range Light in Delaware; American Shoal Light in Florida; Ashland Light in Wisconsin; Butler Flats Light, Graves Light, Edgartown Light in Massachusetts; and Halfway Rock Light and Boon Island Light in Maine. Since the NHLPA eneactment in 2000, 84 lighthouses have been transferred from the federal government.