RDA gets update on blighted properties

The condition of numerous properties throughout the county were updated during Tuesday’s Redevelopment Authority meeting.

A couple drew more extensive discussion than the rest.

One is located at 4582 Rt. 6 in Sheffield Township owned by Harbour Portfolio VIII LP.

RDA Solicitor Andrea Stapleford said that the property has been transferred to Ingersoll Financial Land Trust in Florida and that she sent them a letter detailing the conditions of blight and indicating that they have 30 days to correct them.

County Planner Dan Glotz said that he was at the property a couple weeks ago and said it “doesn’t look like anything has been done yet.”

Stapleford told the Authority that a couple options exist – proceed with conservatorship where the county can undertake improvements without taking title to the property or see what happens at the tax sale in September.

She explained that the property would go for judicial sale next year and repository the following year if no bids were received and that the property had two outstanding mortgages both of which have been foreclosed. In addition, taxes from 2013 through 2015 are unpaid.

The property had been in the county’s repository – which requires a $250 minimum bid and approval from the relevant taxing bodies.

“We put in an offer to purchase for $250,” Stapleford said. “Another person put a bid in on it. We found out Harbour sold to Ingersoll prior to the bid being accepted by the Warren County School District, the county and the township.”

She explained to the Authority that if the RDA now purchased the property at sale “we’d have to pay those taxes of almost $3,000.”

“The property isn’t that good even if there wasn’t a house on it,” Authority member Chuck Barone said. “The way it sits, it’s not really viable.”

The former Barley Home, 506 S. State St. owned by Rodger and Kathleen Shattuck, was also discussed.

Stapleford and Glotz both said that have not heard anything new.

The building was ravaged by fire in August 2014.

“There’s been some interest in someone buying it,” Glotz said, however he said he was not sure where outstanding cases with insurance companies stand.

“Nothing’s being done with the property,” Barone said.

Stapleford said that under a bankruptcy, the township can still enforce nuisance violations “which they are doing. That process has started.”

Can the RDA still take action – such as conservatorship?

“I would guess the parties involved in the litigation would probably file a stay on anything we did,” Stapleford opined.

The RDA agreed to invite Rodger Shattuck to the next meeting for an update on the property.