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Landbank takes small steps on challenging properties

The Warren County Landbank is taking some baby steps on a couple challenging properties.

A federal tax lien presents challenges regarding efforts to address 106 Cottage Place in Pine Grove Twp.

Landbank member Joe Whipp proposed an abstract title search to “see exactly what’s on it.”

He said that, without that knowledge, “we’re going to keep kicking it” down the road each month.

“We might as well find out what’s going on,” Landbank member Rob Hart added.

“You gotta know what’s out there first,” Commissioner Dan Glotz said. “I think Joe’s on the right path.”

The board agreed to spend up to $300 to complete that work.

“It’s a pretty rough property,” Planning Director Michael Lyon said.

One of the benefits of the landbank is the ability to jump the line and purchase properties at judicial sale.

That route is being explored for 62 2nd Mill St. in Sheffield.

An estimate for demolition was presented at $8,000 to $10,000 but Landbank chair Phil Gilbert said he spoke with city staff about collaborating with Sheffield Township for demolition at a potentially cheaper rate.

The county’s Redevelopment Authority meets prior to the Landbank and the RDA agreed to remove a Sheffield property from the list.

That property is the old gas station located at 209 W. Main St.

“It’s still a mess but it’s in compliance with what we asked him to do,” RDA member Jeff Labesky said.

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