SCI Cresson not yet on market

According to state officials, the closing of two state prisons at Cresson and Greensburg has saved more than $23 million in the first year, with that number expected to jump to $35 million annually from now on.

But the state continues to spend millions keeping the two shuttered facilities in working order for potential buyers. And in Cresson, a sale is not yet in the state’s sights.

According to the Department of Corrections, it spent $3 million during the 2013-14 fiscal year on maintenance and security as the prison in Cresson awaits sale.

State officials had said they’d hoped to have bids for the 40-building, 450-acre property within a year to put it back on local tax rolls and eliminate its expensive carrying costs.

That deadline has since passed.

“We’re working on it. It’s not an easy thing to get together to take to market,” said Troy Thompson, spokesman for the Department of General Services, which is handling surveying, an appraisal and potential subdivisions needed before the property can be put up for sale.

“It may take a little bit of time,” he said. “We want to make sure it is done properly.”

He said there is no firm timeline for the state to sell the prison, but the department continues to work with its real estate coordinators, and he is unaware of any buyers having expressed interest in the prison.

He said if the state is in contact with someone, it would be in private, in order to maintain the integrity of potential bids.