The Butler County land bank board is not in the habit of buying blighted properties, but members made an exception last week, giving Reily Twp. $40,000 to get rid of a dilapidated trailer as part of a bigger improvement at Reily Community Park.
The land bank first granted the township’s application to become a land bank member and, in the next breath, approved a $40,000 donation — half in a grant and the rest in a five-year, interest-free loan — to help the township get rid of an eyesore on Reily Millville Road.
“We have never really bought property, but we do want to address blight in whatever part of the county it is,” land bank administrator Kathy Dudley said.
She noted that the property in the heart of the township near the baseball fields, which are about to get a big upgrade.
The money will allow the township to buy the land, then the township can get rid of the trailer and “remove some other things that make it somewhat substandard housing,” according to Dudley.
Community Development Block Grant money may be used to clear the site.
Once the property is cleared, it will be used for overflow parking at the little league fields. Several groups are also donating funds and work to upgrade the area, including: $45,000 from the Coalition of a Healthy Community for a new walking path; $8,000 from the Reds Community Fund to improve the baseball fields, and a group of Miami University athletes, who have agreed to paint the concession stands.
Township Trustee Nick Schwab said the family living in the trailer — that has been there since the mid-1960s — wanted $70,000 for the property but they were able to negotiate the lower price.
“It’s amazing what’s going on,” Schwab said. “It all just kind of fell together.”
The money will come from delinquent tax assessment and collections (DTAC). The land bank has collected $621,873 in DTAC money since the county commissioners approved siphoning one percent for banishing blight several years ago.
Membership in the land bank includes: Fairfield, Hamilton, Middletown, New Miami, Seven Mile, Trenton and Fairfield, Hanover, Lemon, Liberty, Madison, Oxford, Ross, St. Clair and Wayne townships.