The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 4, 2013

Geneva CIC wants to buy homes for beautify community plan

For the Star Beacon

GENEVA — The City of Geneva’s Community Improvement Corporation is looking for inexpensive homes to buy, refurbish and resell.

If successful, the venture could bring beautified homes and neighborhoods — and revenue — to Geneva. It is a idea that fits with the CIC’s mission statement.

 “It’s basically a new concept we’ve been talking about the last couple months,” CIC president Tony Long said. “It has two main goals: improve houses and generate revenue “

 Both goals also fit in with the CIC’s mission. The CIC is an economic development and improvement corporation. It is administered as part of the City of Geneva, but under the Ohio Revised Code allowed to generate profit for both the city and CIC.

  “We want to find some houses that won’t cost too much to buy,” he said. “Then we want to refurbish them and resell them for a profit to the city.”

The CIC has a 15-member board that includes five city council members and 10 city residents. The CIC also has regular members who are interested in community development.

The CIC started about 15 years ago. One of its first successes in reselling property involved parcels of land in Geneva’s Industrial Park the CIC fixed up and resold for the city.

 “We sold the parcels for the city and took a fee for the work and reimbursed the city for the sale,” Long said. “The idea expanded from there.”

 Long said some recent projects the CIC was involved with include planting trees on Broadway, the message board at the intersection of Routes 84 and 534 and the pavilion next to the civic center.

Once suitable houses for refurbishment and resale are found, the CIC will begin arranging the work needed to make the properties valued improvements to their neighborhoods.

“Right now we’re taking a look at potential properties for reasonable prices,” Long said. “Then we can determine possible value after estimating improvement costs.”    

Long said he believes economic development is the key to community improvement.

 “This could be a very good way to bring in revenues while at the same time improving the condition of properties,” he said.