Land Bank surpasses $1 million in reimbursements


By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@sidneydailynews.com



SIDNEY – The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corp. surpassed $1 million in reimbursements from the Neighborhood Initiative Project during September.

The Shelby County Land Bank has acquired 77 properties and demolished 67 of them, Land Bank Director Doug Ahlers reported during Tuesday’s monthly meeting. It has submitted $1,173,964.13 for reimbursements since its founding in 2016 and has been approved for $1,016,749.41 by the NIP.

“It’s a long time coming, but it’s a great thing to attain,” Ahlers said of reaching $1 million in reimbursements. “It would have been nice to have done more, but we’re going to keep moving forward. It’s a nice goal to keep in mind, and it’s important that everybody know that it took a while to get there and it was not without hard work on the part of our board and myself and (Secretary) Carol (Meyer).”

The goal of the NIP, a program of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, is to stabilize property values by removing and greening vacant and blighted properties in an effort to prevent future foreclosures for existing homeowners.

Shelby County’s Land Bank has one property, 305 S. Ohio Ave. in Sidney, scheduled for demolition. The property should be demolished by Oct. 15, Ahlers said, at an estimated cost of more than $25,000.

The property at 426 Jefferson St. in Sidney recently was demolished.

The Land Bank also recently demolished the home at 16377 County Rd 25A between Anna and Botkins. Demolition costs were more than $35,000, but there is a buyer under contract to purchase the property for $40,000.

“That will probably close tomorrow so we’ll actually turn a loss into a gain there,” Ahlers said.

The Land Bank recently acquired the former Callahan property on state Route 66 in Houston through foreclosure. The property is being sold, and the buyer will demolish a dilapidated building on the property.

The Land Bank also acquired through foreclosure the former Miller property on state Route 362 near Lake Loramie. There also is an interested buyer for that property, but Ahlers said he has to inspect the property before proceeding with a sale.

“We have to do our due diligence and make sure nobody is in there,” he said.

Ahlers also reported that he attended a Land Bank conference during which he and other Land Bank officials discussed future funding, greening approaches and shared successes and failures. A main focus of the conference was funding options once the NIP runs out of money.

“Once the funding runs out, I would keep the Land Bank because there’s things you can do,” Ahlers said. “The Land Bank could spend their time looking to find properties that could be fixed and then just acquire and clean up the legal work and then sell them off.”

Shelby County’s Land Bank has had success in selling properties to individuals who have renovated them, Ahlers said.

“That’s the lesser of what we’ve done,” Ahlers said, noting the group has focused mostly on properties that needed to be demolished, “but that might be something to look at going forward.”

Individuals can donate vacant and dilapidated properties to the Land Bank. To make a donation, contact Ahlers at 937-498-7253 or landbankdirector@shelbyco.net.

“We just want to remind everybody that it’s a good time for property owners to look at donating vacant properties, dilapidated properties, to the Land Bank,” Ahlers said. “The Land Bank is a not-for-profit, and donations of property may be tax deductible.”

The Land Bank’s next meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in the County Annex.

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@sidneydailynews.com

Reach this writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.

Reach this writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.