Land Bank Developing Tool to Track Problem Properties
Land Bank Update
December 17, 2015
Richland County Land Bank officials hope a new tool they are developing will improve communications between county and city agencies and allow them to provide better progress reports to the public on problem properties.
Land Bank administrator Amy Hamrick told the board during its meeting Wednesday that she and Mansfield codes and permits director J.R. Rice are working to develop a shared document file that will allow officials to share information such as foreclosures, and repair and demolition orders.
Hamrick said the system should allow officials to avoid working towards opposite ends on the same property.
“I talked with J.R. and he said he has demo orders on 50 properties that I didn’t even know about,” she explained. “There are times when they’re working on the same properties we’re looking to take ownership of.”
Initially, the documents will be available to personnel in the city’s community development and codes and permits offices, as well as the county treasurer’s and land bank offices. Treasurer and Land Bank board chairman Bart Hamilton said information sharing will help avoid problems that often happen when a neighbor calls multiple agencies about a problem property and those agencies begin working independently to resolve the problem.
“We’re hoping that by having this one resource that everyone starts working off of we can catch this stuff earlier,” Hamilton said. “We’ve tried this over the years in different, other ways and it didn’t work out well but we’ve never had this computerization before with Google Docs that everyone can look at.”
Chief deputy treasurer Matt Finfgeld said document sharing will help avoid problems with trying to dispose of a property at a sheriff’s sale when the property has a demolition order on it. It also could keep properties that could be renovated from going to a sheriff’s sale.
“This will allow us to be more efficient, react quicker, get things done quicker and get bills paid faster,” Hamilton added.
Officials reported that the recent unseasonably warm weather is allowing contractors to continue demolition projects under the federally-funded Neighborhood Improvement Program, including four on Glessner Ave. The land bank board also agreed to let the rehab committee recommend options for four vacant properties the land bank holds, instead of waiting for the formation of a greening committee, in order to receive federal reimbursement for demolition costs.
Source: Mansfield News Journal