Land Bank expects to own old Wagner Foundry by January’s end


SIDNEY — The Master Vision/Wagner property is expected to complete foreclosure and ownership turned over to The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation (Land Bank) by the end of January.

“This is truly a team effort that will benefit all of our community,” saidDoug Ahlers, director of the Land Bank, in an email. “This is the first part of the process that is needed to clean up and demolish the factory. Several organizations have been working on this for some time including Sidney/Shelby Economic Partnership, the City of Sidney along with the Land Bank.”

The project already has a guaranteed $1 million from the Ohio Capital Budget to the city of Sidney, $1 million from the Ohio Department of Development to the Land Bank for use in Shelby County, amd $750,000 of local monies pledged. Now an additional Ohio Department of Development brownfield grant application in the amount of $1.8 million was submitted, for which the Land Bank is awaiting a decision that would allow them to begin cleanup of the abandoned Wagner site once their acquisition is completed.

A non-brownfield application in the amount of $500,000 for use in Shelby County to continue the program to help with demolition of non-brownfield blighted and vacant buildings on behalf was also submitted to the same agency.

During the December 2021 meeting of the Land Bank, Ahlers also announced the acquisition of a vacant lot, located at 120 West Clay Street, from Betty Sturgeon, and that the donation of 323 South Miami in Sidney to Holy Angels is underway.

Ahlers also announced that the Land Bank is working to acquire eligible properties when possible and that eight properties are in foreclosure, including four in Sidney, two in Anna, one in Botkins, and one in Port Jefferson. The River Road property is also being pursued as a property that, if acquired, could be donated back to the Park District to become part of the bicycle path.

No new demolitions were reported during the December meeting.

A breakdown of the 99 total units, which includes 78 demolished and 25 sold or donated properties overall is as follows:

• Sidney: 82 acquired (10 sold, one donated)

• Port Jefferson, three acquired (two sold)

• McLean Township, two acquired (two sold)

• Green Township, two acquired (two sold)

• Salem Township, two acquired (two sold)

• Franklin Township, two acquired (one sold)

• Lockington: one acquired (one donated)

• Jackson Center, one acquired (one sold)

• Dinsmore Township, one acquired (one sold)

• Cynthian Township, one acquired (one sold)

• Loramie Township, one acquired (one sold)

• Fort Loramie: one acquired

Treasurer John Coffield reported that during the month of November 2021 new income in the amount of $31,500 was derived from the sale of 326 W. Park. Expenses included $9,293.60 ($6,382.35 for program expenses with the remainder being administrative costs), leaving a checking account balance of $317,012.47, with six outstanding checks totaling $3,437.25. Combined with the savings account balance of $250,013.68, the total amount in both accounts totaled $567,026.15.

In other financial news, the Land Bank agreed to continue to serve as the bankers for a revolving loan fund. The Land Bank’s accountant, Carol Riggle, will prepare its end-of-year financial reports at the same rate as last year.

An executive session of the board members was held in which it was decided Mike Goubeaux would be re-appointed as a board member through May 17, 2023. After exiting, a motion to do so was made, seconded, and carried at the end of the public session. Ahlers will meet with the insurance company to ensure enough coverage has been secured for the coming year. Finally, the projected 2022 calendar year budget (that does not include the two pending grants) was sent to all board members and was approved.

The next two regular meetings will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ meeting room, located in Suite 100 at 129 E. Court St., Suite 100 in Sidney, on Jan. 18 and Feb. 15, 2022. The meetings are open to the public.

2018 aerial drone image of the former Wagner Foundry property aerial drone image of the former Wagner Foundry property
Ahers celebrates pending acquisition as ‘a team effort’ to ‘benefit all of our community’

By Shannon Bohle

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