Lima City Council to vote on land bank manager

By Craig Kelly - [email protected]

LIMA — Despite the Lima City Council Economic and Community Development Committee not being able to reach a consensus on the necessity of creating a managerial position for the Lima Land Bank, the question of creating such a position will be considered by the entire council for a second time during its regular 7 p.m. meeting Monday at the Lima Municipal Building.

Lima City Council will have a second reading on a resolution changing the city’s strength ordinance to include the creation of the new land bank manager position, the first reading having been defeated by a vote of 6-2. Community Development Director Amy Sackman Odum had made the case for its creation, which would come with a yearly salary of more than $54,000. She said the number of blighted and tax-delinquent properties required someone overseeing full time the maintenance of those properties as well as their transition to new owners.

“Over 60 percent of the property that we maintain, spending over $423,000 per year, is vacant or abandoned,” she said at a committee meeting in June. “If we could reduce even a portion of that, it would not only reduce our liability, but more importantly, it would increase property put into private hands for redevelopment.”

Last month, Mayor David Berger reiterated the need for this position. He said having such a manager in place could put both the city and county in line to receive millions of dollars in government grants.

“There is a great need for the city and county to demonstrate that we have the capacity to take on that scale of a project, and the deadline is immediate,” he said.

For 4th Ward Councilwoman Rebecca Kreher, however, there are chances of working with both the city and county land banks without having to create another city position.

“I think it can be done here differently, partnering with the county differently or using our employees in a different situation to be more effective, rather than bringing in an entirely new position,” she said.

By Craig Kelly

[email protected]

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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