SIDNEY — 2018 was a very busy year for the Land Bank (Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation).
“The goal of the Land Bank is to stabilize property values by removing or rehabilitating blighted single and up to four-family residential properties in Shelby County,” said Doug Ahlers, Land Bank director. “Most of the properties are obtained through tax foreclosures and several properties have been donated. Major funding comes from a grant administered by Ohio Housing Finance Agency through its Neighbor Initiative Program.”
His report continues:
Since inception we have been able to acquire 67 units. Four of these units were remodeled and put back into use, but most of the properties that we acquire are beyond repair and leave us no choice but to be demolished. Thus far, we have been reimbursed $768,000 by Ohio Housing Finance. We anticipate additional reimbursements in the first quarter of 2019 will exceed $200,000.
Grant money was used to remove three properties near the Alpha Center. We were able to use some of the grant’s greening allowance to build a shelter house at that property. The shelter house provides a nice place for those who frequent the area to stop, relax, and spend time in a cool, shaded space. Additional program space for the Alpha Center is also afforded by this shelter house to help them in their outreach programs.
Earlier in the year we were also able to partner with the Sidney Fire Department and Underwriters Laboratory. Live fire training sessions were performed in a number of our properties. These sessions were attended by firefighters from across the United States. Scientists from the Underwriter Laboratory Firefighter Safety Research Institute, along with scientists and students from the University of Illinois’ Fire Service Institute, used highly sophisticated methods to collect this information. This information will be used to educate firefighters across the United States.
We will continue to look for properties that qualify under our grant regulations striving to improve Shelby County and all communities within our boundaries to make our neighborhoods better places to live.
You can reach the Land Bank at 937-498-7253 or use or website firstname.lastname@example.org.