Land Bank receives $30,000 in reimbursements

By Kyle Shaner - [email protected]

SIDNEY – The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corp. received more than $30,000 in reimbursements for the demolition of properties, Director Doug Ahlers reported during the Land Bank’s Dec. 1 meeting.

The Land Bank received $30,257.63 in reimbursements from the Neighborhood Initiative Program for the demolition of 716 E. Court St. in Sidney and 429 E. Main St. in Port Jefferson.

“I don’t know where they got this money,” Treasurer John Coffield said. “They’ve been telling us for a year that, you know, there’s no money left.”

Even though the NIP previously reported there wouldn’t be any additional funding for reimbursements, Ahlers said, money has become available when other land banks don’t use their entire allotment.

“Evidently some communities, some land banks, haven’t used their money, and that makes it available for us,” he said.

The NIP also agreed to reimburse the Shelby County Land Bank approximately $36,000 for the demolition of 632 Second Ave. in Sidney and the upcoming demolition of 310 Enterprise Ave. in Sidney, Ahlers said.

The property at 310 Enterprise Ave. will be demolished in early December. First Choice Excavation & Demolition was awarded the contract for the demolition.

Tom Kinninger donated a property at 614 East Ave. in Sidney to the Land Bank. Ahlers is going to approach a nearby business to see if it is interested in the property before moving ahead with a potential demolition.

There also are properties in foreclosure including 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 properties at 326 W. Park St. in Sidney and 16999 County Road 25A in Botkins will be sold through a sheriff’s sale.

The Land Bank has acquired 91 properties, demolished 76 of them, sold 14 and owns one it hasn’t demolished. It has been reimbursed $1,124,956.94 by the NIP.

“There’s just numerous places where it’s definitely, definitely helped the image of the city and the county by getting rid of some of these blighted projects,” Commissioner Bob Guillozet said. “I think we’ve done a lot of good with the program the last three years.”

The Land Bank is looking for additional funding for 2020 and beyond but nothing is imminent, Ahlers said. With the change in presidential administrations in January, funding might become available, he said. The Environmental Protection Agency could be a source of future funding.

Ahlers submitted a letter of support to the Ohio House of Representatives in support of Senate Bill 356, which he said would clean up foreclosure rules and expedite some foreclosures.

Ahlers reported the Land Bank’s record retention schedule has been revised to clarify how long it will keep records.

The Land Bank’s 2018 and 2019 audits were completed and are available for inspection.

The commissioners and Land Bank will renew a loan the county made to the Land Bank.

The Land Bank voted to change its meeting date to the third Tuesday of each month, which will allow Coffield more time to receive bank statements and prepare the financial report.

The Land Bank’s next meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Shelby County Annex.

By Kyle Shaner

[email protected]

Reach this writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.

Reach this writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.