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DWS spends $72K each year on vacant building

(Herald Journal) Changes in program administration have trapped the Utah Department of Workforce Services in a lease it doesn’t want — forcing the agency to pay $72,000 a year for empty space in a building along Logan’s Golf Course Road.

DWS moved workers out of the 4,139-square-foot office in 2007 but is committed to paying rent there through 2011, according to public information officer Curt Stewart.

The reason for the vacancy: several programs, including Medicaid and CHIP, switched homes from the health department to workforce services, giving DWS a number of new employees. To consolidate its operations, DWS shifted those employees to its building at 180 N. 100 West — but the agency was still left holding a five-year lease the Health Department had put in place.

“We have tried to sub-lease or terminate the lease without success,” Stewart said.

He added that the space would probably not be desirable for a private company because it is surrounded by government agencies, including the Division of Services for People with Disabilities and Juvenile Justice Services.

Original Article