WM looks to reutilization program

By Cecilia Fox - [email protected]

WEST MILTON — Faced with a growing number of abandoned properties, the village of West Milton is taking the first steps to establish a land reutilization program.

Following in the city of Piqua’s footsteps, the West Milton Land Reutilization Program will be a tool that helps the village to reestablish abandoned properties, municipal manager Matt Kline explained.

The village council voted Tuesday night to establish the program, the first step in implementing a program that essentially allows local government to “foreclose” on properties without waiting on the banks, Kline said.

Since the recession, cities everywhere have seen a rise in the number of abandoned houses and properties. These properties become unproductive because no one is paying property taxes and the village is left to mow and maintain the lots.

“There are a dozen properties like that in town,” Kline said.

Over time, the taxes owed on many of these properties become greater than the value of the house or land, he added.

The village will need to create a property review committee, “delineate property selection and documentation criteria, establish maintenance and reporting requirements, and determine the length of time the village of West Milton may own property for the program,” according to the ordinance.

“It is a long term plan,” Kline added.

This kind of land reutilization program is allowed by the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5722. The West Milton program will closely follow the program established by the city of Piqua, Kline said.

In other business, the council approved a resolution purchasing a 2017 International dump truck chassis in the amount of $79,330 from Rush Truck Centers of Cincinnati.

The remaining dump truck parts, including the bed, hydraulics, salter and plow, will be purchased for $30,103 from Kaffenbarger Truck Equipment Company of New Carlisle.

The council sent a rezoning ordinance back to the Planning Board due to an error concerning which inlot was to be rezoned.

The ordinance, which concerns two parcels of real estate in the 2200 block of South Miami Street, will be reviewed by the board in May.

By Cecilia Fox

[email protected]

Reach Cecilia Fox at [email protected] or (937) 552-2205.

Reach Cecilia Fox at [email protected] or (937) 552-2205.

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