After a land purchase deal fizzled, Reily Twp. trustees are withdrawing a $40,000 request for Butler County Land Bank funds to get rid of a dilapidated trailer as part of a bigger improvement at Reily Community Park.
A year ago the land bank first granted the township’s application to become a 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.
Township Trustee Nick Schwab said the man living in the trailer that has been there since the mid-1960s put it up for sale, but then changed his mind.
“He cleaned the place up, it looks totally different,” Schwab said. “I don’t think any of us had the stomach to make (him sell), this is America, if you own a piece of property, well, it would have been nice to have it for public interest but it wasn’t something that had to be done.”
The township planned to clear the land and use it for parking for the community center and sports fields. Many improvements have happened at the park in the past year.
Several groups donated funds and work to upgrade the area, including: $45,000 from the Coalition of a Healthy Community for the new walking path; the Reds Community Fund committed $8,000 to improve the baseball fields, that is a work in progress and a group of Miami University athletes painted the concession stands last year. Schwab said Tri-Health is installing $50,000 worth of playground equipment this spring.
The seller originally wanted $70,000 for the property but they were able to negotiate the lower price, and the negotiation is now moot.
“We worked and worked and tried to talk him back into selling but he just won’t sell it,” Schwab said.
Schwab said the township will now likely turn a grassy area on the south side of the center into a gravel parking lot. Officials also still have $40,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to do some other work in that area.
The money was to come from delinquent tax assessment and collections (DTAC). The land bank has approved $240,489 worth of demolition projects using DTAC money since the county commissioners approved siphoning one percent for banishing blight several years ago.
The land bank board on Monday approved downing another eyesore in St. Clair Twp. on Woodrow Street. Land Bank Administrator Kathy Dudley said the run down property is similar to three previous demolitions in St. Clair. The house was forfeited to the state, turned over to the land bank and now will revert to the township.
“We will reimburse them for the cost of demo just like we did the other three,” she said. “And they can do whatever they want with this piece of property.”
Dudley estimated it will cost no more that $11,000 to down the dump.
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.
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