FOR THE RECORD

Over the past year the department has been engaged in an effort to bring a number of former revocable permit (RP) holders into compliance with the terms and conditions of their RPs. So far, the department has been successful in getting 82% of previously noncompliant former RP holders back into compliance, with an additional 5% of noncompliant former RP holders choosing to vacate their properties.

The department has been working with the remaining noncompliant former RP holders to resolve a number of outstanding issues. These issues include indebtedness to the department, unauthorized use of parcels, and other violations of the terms and conditions of former RPs.

Our commission, which has been briefed regularly on the status of these remaining few accounts, has been patient in allowing the time necessary for these businesses to achieve compliance.

However, recent events have shown that in spite of our efforts, some of these remaining businesses have refused the department’s offer of help and ignored its demands for compliance. As a result, the department may be forced to ask the commission for authorization to officially terminate its relationships with these businesses and pursue legal remedies available.

While such course of action would be the department’s last resort, it will be considered in order to protect the beneficiaries the department is responsible to serve.

At the same time, the department is considering ways to strengthen its commercial leasing and permitting programs. For example, the department is considering the engagement of a consultant with an expertise in commercial land management to assist in the evaluation of the department’s portfolio and management practices and to recommend changes to incorporate best practices. Ultimately, the decision on any changes to be made to the department’s leasing and permitting practices, will be made by the Commission.

The department understands and appreciates the need for changes, it also recognizes that its programs have successfully fostered the growth of many small businesses. Time is being taken to consider all aspects of its programs, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, while also considering ways to maintain the positive outcomes of the programs to date. To what extent changes will be made is a decision and balance that the department and Commission takes very seriously.