LIMA — With the Sept. 2 deadline looming for the Allen County Land Bank to apply for potentially $7 million in funds to acquire tax-delinquent properties and demolish blighted structures, the land bank board is moving quickly to ensure that the land bank is able to provide all the information necessary to receive the most grant money.
“We’re still gathering the last of the data we need and compiling it into the mass of documents we’re going to submit to the state,” Allen County Treasurer Rachael Gilroy said. “We have tremendously helpful partnerships right now with both the Allen Economic Development Group and the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission, and those relationships have been very important to us as we gather all the data and create all the maps we need to prove our need to the state.”
Regional Planning Commission executive director Thomas Mazur told the board that its goal in collecting data on parcels throughout the county is to help identify target areas where there is the greatest need for addressing blighted properties. He noted that the city has been able to provide a great deal of information, but it has been a little more difficult getting all of the information from the surrounding townships and villages.
“Property maintenance issues and building and demolition data are not centralized in one place,” he said. “I think we’re very comfortable with the data we got from the city.”
Gilroy remained confident, however, that the land bank should have all the information needed, such as foreclosures, home values and blighted property reports, before the application deadline.
“[We’re looking at] what these neighborhoods need,” she said. “Does it need revitalization? Do we need to rehab areas? Do we need to start from scratch?”
In another effort to prove it has the capacity for the grant, the land bank is planning to move forward on two properties — 962 W. Wayne St. and 330 and 330 1/2 S. Metcalf St. — using Lima-based Ben’s Construction to handle demolition. Work on these properties is expected to begin before the end of August.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.