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2018 Annual Report

Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018


The Mission of the Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation, or Land Bank, is to facilitate the conversion of vacant, blighted, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties to productive use for the benefit of our community. The Land Bank’s Vision is to return Portage properties to productive use. The organization was founded in 2012, with support from the county’s Board of Commissioners and Prosecutor’s Office.

Since then, the organization has grown to take advantage of statewide grant programs, and assist local communities. We are now pleased to share our 2018 Annual Report with all our stakeholders.

Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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Table of Contents Message from the Chair ............................................................................................................. 4 Programs ................................................................................................................................... 5 Acquisition-Disposition-Inventory................................................................................................ 6 Impact Spotlights ....................................................................................................................... 9 Resource & Financial Management .......................................................................................... 12 Board of Directors ................................................................................................................... 14 Thank You to All of Our Partners .............................................................................................. 15

Impact Spotlight Ravenna City Fire Department recently partnered with Land Bank to use structures for vital training. These structures give us many invaluable ways to train; breaching walls, searches, forcible entry, and ventilation to name a few. Most recently we gained access to a structure at 319 Franklin St. in Ravenna.

We look forward to working together again on many other training structures in the future. Ryan Leifheit Assistant Training Officer Ravenna Fire

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Message from the Chair Dear Friends, 2018 marked a year of transition for the Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation (Land Bank). While the organization has continued to operate its side lot and demolition programs, it has also initiated the important process of planning the Land Bank’s future goals and objectives to better fulfill its mission.

Throughout the year, the Land Bank Board worked together with its Executive Director, Neighborhood Development Services, to begin looking at commercial properties. We are proud to share that we have passed a policy that would allow the Land Bank to assist potential end-users in acquiring clear title to tax-delinquent commercial property and facilitate future development. While this may seem like a minor administrative feat to some, this policy will allow the Land Bank to take part in larger, more impactful projects; thereby contributing more positively to the County’s tax base. Moving forward in 2019, the Land Bank plans to grow its efforts to return properties to productive use through exploring new avenues of partnership and services. Specifically, we hope to:

Vicki A. Kline, CPA, Chair Land Bank Board of Directors

enhance efforts to acquire, renovate and re-sell properties;

investigate commercial projects, including gas station projects;

consider partnerships with veterans and others for lot clean-up, mowing, etc.;

continue to pursue tax foreclosures to eliminate blight; and

extend lot assemblage efforts.

The Land Bank is looking forward to an even more successful 2019 and hopes to continue returning Portage County properties to productive use. Thank you!

Vicki A. Kline, Chair

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Programs Community Demolitions The Land Bank utilizes grant funds from OHFA’s NIP program and its own private dollars to demolish blighted properties throughout Portage County. Properties come to the Land Bank via tax foreclosure, often at the recommendation of local zoning officials and other community members.

Lot Assemblage The Land Bank also works in specific neighborhoods with large numbers of non-conforming parcels in order to acquire parcels and combine them into buildable lots. These larger lots are then listed with a local real estate agent to generate stronger property values and to put properties back on the tax rolls, contributing additional revenue to the County.

Commercial Program In 2018, the Land Bank enacted its own Commercial Property program, designed to facilitate future development by assisting business owners in acquiring clear title to tax delinquent commercial property. We are accepting applications from potential end-users interested in this exciting new program.

Market-Rate Sales The Land Bank also offers marketable property for sale to the public. This program assists communities by clearing delinquent taxes and returning properties to tax-paying status.

Residential Side Lot Program One of the Land Bank’s most popular programs is its residential side lot program. This program offers small, less marketable properties to adjoining neighbors for a nominal price in an effort to quickly return properties to productive use.

Acquisition, Rehab & Re-sale Over the last two years, the Land Bank has begun exploring acquisition, rehabilitation and re-sale projects on a limited basis. These projects allow the Land Bank to fully repair a vacant or abandoned residence that has fallen into disrepair and to re-sell that property to a new homeowner.

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Acquisitions-Dispositions-Inventory Properties within the Land Bank inventory are evaluated in alignment with adopted policies and through a thoughtful consideration of marketability, potential use, surrounding neighborhood, parcel size and eligibility of neighbors. The visual below provides a brief review of the process a property follows upon entering the Land Bank’s inventory.

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Acquisitions-Dispositions-Inventory cont.

Beginning in 2017, the Land Bank focused on disposing of property within its inventory. This includes renewed efforts to sell side lots to adjoining property owners as well as market-based sales. While some of the Land Bank’s inventory continues to be restricted in terms of disposition options, due to Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) guidelines, the organization has returned 83 properties to the tax rolls since its inception. This has led to increased tax revenue for the County and has reduced by approximately 30% the Land Bank’s inventory of property to 187 properties as of 12/31/18.

Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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Acquisitions-Dispositions-Inventory cont. The Land Bank continues to add to its inventory of properties through the strategic acquisition of taxdelinquent properties. These acquisitions allow the organization to return properties to productive use and are largely completed through partnership with the Portage County Treasurer and Prosecutor to complete foreclosures of tax-delinquent properties. As of the end of 2018, the Land Bank maintained a portfolio of 187 properties. This includes properties designated for side lot sale, market-rate sales, acquisition, rehabilitation and re-sale (ARR), and properties whose dispositions are limited by grant restrictions for a period of three years following the demolition.

* Total Inventory at 12.31.18 = 187 properties

*Total properties acquired, demolished, and / or impacted since inception. Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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Impact Spotlight: Polly Road Project The Land Bank was first contacted about a property on Polly Road in Shalersville Township in November 2017. We were made aware of this property by the Sherriff’s Department and the local trustees who wanted to see the property repaired to benefit the surrounding neighborhood. The Land Bank then worked with the Treasurer and Prosecutor to secure tax foreclosure on the property, and it was transferred to the Land Bank on June 7, 2017.

Upon ownership, the Land Bank performed a thorough inspection of the property and began drafting a plan to renovate it. A few months later, this property was listed with our realtor. After just a few short days on the market, the property sold to the current owners for $104,000. The Land Bank, community leaders, and other partners could not be more pleased with the end result. In fact, the local Zoning Inspector, Gregory Benner, states, “Shalersville Township would like to send a huge thank you to the Portage County Land Bank for all their efforts in acquiring and rehabbing a home on Polly Road that sat delinquent for some time. It is now a beautiful property that someone can take pride in. We look forward to partnering with the Land Bank in the future.”

Before “After years of trying to clean up a distressed property in our Red Fox development Portage County Land Bank came aboard and things started happening … and we couldn't be happier. The Land Bank decided they would oversee the cleanup and repairs to see it was done right and in a timely fashion. As you can see the results were remarkable. Thanks to the Land Bank for your help. The neighborhood looks a lot better thanks to all your hard work.” Frank R. Ruehr Jr.

Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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Impact Spotlight: Community Demolitions Eliminating Blight throughout Portage County In addition to its grant administration work, the Land Bank has worked tirelessly to establish partnerships with local cities, townships, and villages to assist them with the difficult task of acquiring and eliminating blighted, nuisance and problem properties throughout their communities. Perhaps one of the best examples of this effort is our partnership with Freedom Township and the Freedom Township Historical Society to acquire and demolish residential structures near the historic schoolhouse located along State Route 303. This property was brought to our attention by the Freedom Township Trustees in September 2016. The abandoned property had long been utilized as a “party” space and was looted for copper wire, electrical, and other valuable materials. Afterward, the Land Bank worked with the Portage County Treasurer and Prosecutor to request tax foreclosure on this property, which was severely delinquent on property taxes. This process was completed and the property was transferred to the Land Bank’s ownership on August 10, 2017. Upon its ownership, the Land Bank was able to utilize its own funds to demolish the residential structure, or parsonage, that was attached to the historic schoolhouse via a breezeway. Upon demolition, the Land Bank transferred ownership of the property to Freedom Township, which planned to work with the Freedom Township Historical Society to utilize the structure for a museum and community meeting space. Already, the Historical Society has taken steps to make this a reality, working with the Portage County Sherriff to clean the schoolhouse and strip the building to its historic roots. Overall, the renovation of the building is expected to be completed in the next few years, and the Land Bank is thrilled to have played a role in the completion of such an impactful and transformational project in Portage County.

“Freedom Township and the Historical Society are very grateful to the Portage County Land Bank to have received this awesome gift of Historic Schoolhouse #2. We are in the process of rehabbing the building to its late 1800 appearance. From time-to-time we have had community members come in to view the progress, along with Senator John Eklund. We hope to have the renovations complete in the next few years. We have been very fortunate to receive in-kind donations from the community along with 1000 hours of volunteer time.” John Zizka Freedom Township Trustee

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Impact Spotlight: Side Lots Returning Properties to the Tax Rolls As part of its mission to return properties to productive use, the Land Bank has implemented a side lot program since 2014. This has resulted in the return of more than 60 side lot properties to productive use by neighbors and adjoining property owners. One such success story is that of Candace Wyers. Wyers obtained property located at 267 and 271 Harris St. in Ravenna via the Land Bank’s Side Lot Program. The Land Bank previously demolished the vacant, blighted structure that once stood on the parcel by utilizing grant funds provided by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) Neighborhood Improvement Program. Upon the completion of the demolition, the Land Bank received a phone call from Wyers, who was interested in the property. After completing the application, verifying eligibility requirements, and obtaining a waiver from OHFA (to sell the restricted property as a side lot, rather than waiting three years), the Land Bank was able to sell the parcels to Wyers for $100 each. Wyers has big plans for the property and is thrilled to have the green space.

Before Demolition

“I watch Pete Nelson, the tree-house designer and think this is the perfect tree, I really enjoy having it in my yard now! I want to plant flowers all around the yard and the tree. I also want to grow an herb and vegetable garden to cook and serve to my family and friends.� Candace Wyers, Side Lot Recipient

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Resource & Financial Management The Portage County Land Bank works strategically to utilize available funds responsibly, effectively, and appropriately in order to meet our mission and achieve our vision in Portage County. Toward this end, the Land Bank obtains an annual audit, which is performed by an outside firm and submitted to the State of Ohio’s Auditor’s Office for review.

ATTRACTED

In 2018, the organization received the Auditor of State Award for clean and accurate record-keeping. This award is given to entities that file timely financial reports and achieve clean audits – meaning that the financial audit does not contain findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Single Audit findings or any questioned costs. Annual audits and financial statements are published on the Land Bank’s website. Below is a summary of the Land Bank’s annual financial position as of December 31, 2018.

Annual Financial Report

In State Grant Funds*

Revenue DTAC

$ 299,006.59

Land Donations

$ 187,300.00

Grants

$ 223,858.71

Other Income

$

Sales Revenue

$ 116,867.64

Total

$ 831,122.60

Operating

$

Professional Services

$ 157,085.60

Acquisitions

$

28,001.80

Maintenance

$

40,800.10

Rehabilitation

$

65,117.74

Demolition

$ 175,978.17

Property Transfers

$ 109,260.00

Total

$ 628,376.27

4,089.66

Expenses 52,132.86

2018 Unaudited

*Total MOF and NIP funds awarded. Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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Resource & Financial Management Cont. Land Bank funding stems from a variety of sources, including acquired property, delinquent tax and assessment collection (DTAC) funds from Portage County, as well as earned income from property sales, as shown in the chart below.

GENERATED

$150,000

In Delinquent Tax Payments In 2018*

*Total paid as result of consent judgments and other payments due to Land Bank action. Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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Board of Directors While the Portage County Land Bank has accomplished much in its first six years, 2018 has marked a transition in the Land Bank’s focus – shifting from administration of blight removal programs funded largely by state grant funds toward new programs and services designed to extend and strengthen the Land Bank’s impact throughout Portage County. This vision and mission have been developed and implemented at the direction of the Land Bank’s Board of Directors.

Vicki Kline Board Chair Brad Cromes

Bridget Susel

Vice Chair

Treasurer

Jack Kohl Member Kathleen Clyde Member

Ina Sayre Sue Fields

Member

Member

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Thank You to All of Our Partners! The Portage County Land Bank partners with local political jurisdictions, elected officials, and area organizations in order to achieve its mission. These partnerships represent the very best our county has to offer in collaboration. As such, the Land Bank would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our partners for their time and energy throughout the year. Portage County Treasurer’s Office Portage County Prosecutor’s Office

Portage County Board of Commissioners Neighborhood Development Services, Inc. Ohio Housing Finance Agency Western Reserve Land Conservancy & Thriving Communities Institute National Community Stabilization Trust Portage Community Bank Ohio Realty Group

State of Ohio Land Bank Association Freedom Township Historical Society Attorney Chad Murdock Julian & Grube, Inc. CITIES Aurora * Kent * Ravenna * Streetsboro VILLAGES Garrettsville * Hiram * Mantua * Mogadore * Sugar Bush Knolls Windham TOWNSHIPS Atwater * Brimfield * Charlestown * Deerfield * Edinburg Franklin * Freedom * Hiram * Mantua * Nelson * Palmyra Paris * Randolph * Ravenna * Rootstown * Shalersville Suffield * Windham SCHOOL DISTRICTS Aurora City School District *Crestwood Local School District * Field Local School District * Kent City School District * James A. Garfield Local School District * Southeast Local School District * Streetsboro City School District * Rootstown Local School District * Mogadore Local School District * Ravenna City School District * Waterloo Local School District * Windham Exempted Village School District

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Website: pclandbank.com Administered by: Neighborhood Development Services, Inc.

120 E. Main St. Ravenna, OH 44266 NDS Office Contact: Jennifer Robison, Administrative Coordinator 330-297-6400 Ext. 214 jrobison@ndsohio.org

Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation Annual Report 2018

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2018 PC Land Bank Annual Report  

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