The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 22, 2014

ACTA hears update on county land bank

JEFFERSON —

Progress on the Ashtabula County Land Re-utilization Corp., or land bank, was the topic of Thursday’s Ashtabula County Township Associa-tion meeting at the Ashtabula County Engineer’s office. 
County Treasurer Dawn Cragon and Deputy Treasurer Melissa Harvey said there are six subdivision land banks, including the cities of Ashtabula, Conneaut and Geneva and Andover, Geneva-on-the-Lake and Roaming Shores villages, in addition to the fledgling county land bank. 
Land banks acquire vacant and delinquent properties and return them to productive use.. 
“It can help property owners who have blighted properties near them,” Harvey said.
The county land bank has a seven-member board, composed of Cragon, County Commissioners Peggy Carlo, Joe Moroski and Dan Claypool; Ashtab-ula City Manager Jim Timonere, ACTA President Debbie Friedstrom and Janis Dorsten of the Ashtabula County Board of Realtors.
It is not yet fully funded and is in the process of forming policies and procedures.
Cragon said “there is not yet funding for commercial blight.
However, some funding will come from delinquent tax collection (with county commissioner approval), and possibly the Neighborhood Initiative Program.”
More information on the Ashtabula County Land Bank can be obtained by contacting Harvey at landbank@ashtabulacounty.us or by calling the County Treasurer’s office at 440-576-3735.
Addressing the topics of banking issues and fraud prevention were Joshua Gottron and Vincent Rhodes from U.S. Bank.
ACTA members received a checklist that can be used with colleagues to determine what controls are in place to prevent fraud.
County officials joining ACTA members included Commissioners Peggy Car-lo and Dan Claypool, Janice Switzer, program manager with the County Commu-nity Services & Planning Department.
Ashtabula County Auditor Roger Corlett distributed pamphlets detailing qualifications for the Homestead Exemption.
The next ACTA meeting will be held May 15 at the Ashtabula County Engineer’s office.
Guest speakers will be Auditor Corlett and Sean Ratican, director of the Ashtabula County Port Authority. 

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