Land Bank to take more aggressive approach

By Kyle Shaner -

SIDNEY – The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corp. plans to be more aggressive in acquiring properties in the final months of 2020.

“With COVID we had kind of a lag, and now it’s time to kind of pick that up,” Director Doug Ahlers said during the monthly Land Bank meeting Sept. 1.

Demolition companies the Land Bank has worked with have spare time now, Ahlers said, which leads to lower bids on projects and makes this an advantageous time to complete work.

In total, the Land Bank has acquired 91 properties, demolished 76 of them and sold 14. The property it owns at 310 Enterprise Ave. in Sidney likely will be demolished.

Despite receiving interest in the lot at 632 Second Ave. in Sidney, the Land Bank didn’t receive any bids for it, Ahlers said.

Foreclosure proceedings have started on a property owned by Dallas Stephens at 404/406 E. Poplar St. in Sidney. Other properties in foreclosure include a property owned by Gary Waters at 326 W. Park St. in Sidney, a property owned by Richard Dulaney at 16999 County Road 25A in Botkins, a property owned by Barbara Schloss at 304 High St. in Port Jefferson and a property owned by Larkin Davis at 212 Sophia Ave. in Sidney.

The Ohio Land Bank Association will host a virtual conference Sept. 23-24. The Shelby County Land Bank approved up to $150 to pay conference fees for its members to attend and authorized Ahlers to vote on the slate of officers.

Treasurer John Coffield reported the Shelby County Land Bank has a balance of $454,188.48. It had no revenue in August and $10,131.70 in expenses.

The biggest expense in August was $5,592.40 to the Ohio auditor of state for a 2018-19 audit. The Land Bank has received two bills for the audit and likely will receive one more, Coffield said, bringing the total expense to approximately $8,000.

Ahlers said the audit is nearing completion and no significant issues have been found.

Minor issues included a lack of records retention plan, which the Land Bank addressed, an invoice that had sales tax paid when the tax shouldn’t have been paid and the late submission of a Hinkle Report.

The Land Bank also approved the addition of some verbiage from the Neighborhood Initiative Program to its records retention plan.

The Land Bank’s next meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Shelby County Annex.

By Kyle Shaner

Reach this writer at or 937-538-4824.

Reach this writer at or 937-538-4824.