Land Bank Will Try To Acquire, Demolish 20 Homes In 2017

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At least 20 blighted homes will be torn down under the auspices of the Williams County Land Reutilization Corp. next year.

The LRC, commonly known as the Land Bank, has been approved for $500,000 to tear down at 20 homes by November 2017. With cheaper demolition costs than the state is anticipating, the county could do as many as 50 over the next two years.

The Land Bank wants the homes torn down to either give to adjoin property owners or groups such as Habitat for Humanity in hopes of putting the properties back on the tax rolls. The entity is working with the Maumee Valley Planning Organization in scoping out prospective homes that could qualify for the grant money.

A Bryan home at 503 Williams St., will be the first home razed. That has to be completed by Nov. 24 to comply with a judge’s order. The home was severely damaged by fire more than a year ago and the owner has drawing the process out.

The issue will be resolved soon as the owner will sign the deed over to the county treasurer.

The LRC will work in conjunction with the MVPO on each home. The agency figures each unit will cost $1,000 and MVPO will collect $800 to handle its costs for demolition.

The LRC will keep $100 and the other $100 will go for a county treasurer’s employee who will assist on paperwork related to acquisition of property, Treasurer Vickie Grimm said.

All the reimbursable costs from the state will go to the LRC, which would pay the MVPO.

The county board will front the LRC $50,000 for 2017 with the idea being that would be repaid by year’s.

Beside the $1,000 for acquisition, tests (asbestos removal) and other costs, demolitions will cost around $10,000. All those costs are reimbursable.

Grimm said later, her office may go after another 10 properties through the tax lien route, but that won’t happen until March at the earliest.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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