Higgins Calls on Feds to Reuse Vacant Courthouse

September 17, 2012 Updated Sep 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

September 17, 2012 Updated Sep 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Congressman Brian Higgins is urging the United States General Services Administration, the government's landlord agency, to implement a plan for the former federal Dillon Courthouse. The location on Court Street in Buffalo officially shut its doors 7 months ago, when a new federal courthouse opened its doors across the street. Higgins said at the time, the GSA had plans to move the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Trustees, Tax Court and other federal agencies into the idle property, but so far no action has been taken on the plan.

"I would hope they would do what they said they would do but obviously this building is vacant with no tangible sign of any reconstruction," said Higgins. "That's why we're taking this action."

Higgins is now demanding movement. He's also concerned that tax dollars are not being used properly since the administration is paying to maintain the idle building and rental properties that currently house these federal agencies throughout Buffalo.

"GSA is responsible for paying those leases," added Higgins. "So they're paying money unnecessarily when in fact, we have a structure that is consistent with GSA's plan of filling in this vacant space with other federal agencies."

A GSA Spokesperson released this statement to Eyewitness News Tuesday:

“GSA is committed to utilizing the Michael J. Dillon U.S. Courthouse in a way that both maximizes efficiency and adds real value and cost savings for taxpayers and the Buffalo community.”