Commissioners Approve Land Bank
Land Bank Update
August 18, 2015
McPherson city commissioners voted to create a city land bank. This bank will be a point of contact for individuals and developers to acquire developable land that has been vacant, abandoned or foreclosed.
“A land bank’s an entity established to manage and dispose of distressed property for the purpose of stabilizing neighborhoods and encouraging reuse or development of property,” McPherson City Administrator Nick Gregory said.
“It’s just a tool that makes it easier for us to buy and sell property,” Gregory said. “Particularly if we run into properties that are in less than desirable condition, but it also provides an opportunity for us if we feel there’s a need to buy a property for residential construction, that’s also a tool that’s out there for us, as well.”
The land bank will be governed by a board of trustees made up of three members, the mayor and commissioners.
The commission will now take steps to develop doctrine for the land bank.
During the public input portion of the city commission meeting as well as during study session, McPherson resident Jerry Potter brought up a concern about new sidewalks in the city. City ordinance states that new sidewalks must be 5 feet in width, while many existing sidewalks were originally installed at 4 feet. Even when residents replace new sidewalks on existing property, those sidewalks must adhere to the 5-foot rule. Potter stated that this makes for inconsistency all over town.
“My main concern is appearance. It doesn’t look good,” Potter said. “I don’t think it’s going to be safe.”
Potter, who also owns JP Construction, brought photos of a sidewalks along Euclid Street that had been replaced by residents under the city’s sidewalk replacement program, pointing out the inconsistency and poor look of the area.
“I am here to represent the tax payers of McPherson,” Potter said.
The city’s Finance Assistant Rich Miller said the 5-foot policy has been in place for some time, but the enforcement hasn’t been very strict up until recently.
Streets and Utilities Commissioner Larry Wiens agreed that the sidewalks in the photos were poorly done.
“I’m going to give city inspectors some direction on how it can be done better,” Wiens said.
Source: McPherson Sentinel