Wayne looks to take on blighted properties

The Wayne County Board of Supervisors is expected at its meeting Tuesday to take the next step in establishing a land bank, which is designed to address blighted properties.

A resolution on Tuesday’s agenda establishes the Wayne County Regional Land Bank Corporation. The move allows the county to apply to the state Economic Development Corporation to become one of the state’s newest land banks.

Five new land banks were established under passage of the 2017-18 state budget.

Land banks are not-for-profit corporations that can obtain and redevelop vacant or abandoned properties.

Land banks do not have the power of eminent domain. They can only acquire properties that have been foreclosed upon by the county, according to County Economic Development Director Brian Pincelli.

The resolution Tuesday also establishes the seven members of the group. They are Pincelli; Karen Ambroz, director of the county’s Real Property Tax Services; Patrick Schmitt, county management assistant and auditor; and supervisors Brian Manktelow of Lyons, Chuck Verkey of Arcadia, Laurie Crane of Huron and Steve Groat of Galen. Terms of office are two years.

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