Richland County Land Bank

Richland County Treasurer Bart Hamilton is chairman of the Richland County  Land Reutilization Corporation, better know locally as the Richland County Land Bank. Amy Hamrick manages the day-to-day operations of the Land Bank.

MANSFIELD -- The Richland County Land Bank is to receive $275,000 from Ohio’s Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) to fund 22 demolitions, land bank manager Amy Hamrick announced Wednesday at the organization’s regular meeting. 

Exactly $12,500 is allotted per demolition for work that must be completed by Oct. 16. Any additional demolition costs must be covered by the land bank.

Hamrick believes the land bank will meet its deadline for the NIP funds. She explained how she’s purposefully planned ahead and avoided submitting properties without already having completed an asbestos analysis when relevant. 

“We own all of them, and a lot of them are already down,” Hamrick said. “I think, all but seven are down.” 

The 22 properties that will or have been demolished via the latest NIP funding include addresses on the following streets: Altamont, Chester, Bartley, Harding, Crall, Harker, Walker, Schmitt, Wood, Louis, Sycamore, Carpenter, Hanna, Vale, Beymuller, East First, Sheridan and West Fourth Street. The most properties, four, are located on West Fourth Street. 

Once these demolitions are paid for, Hamrick hopes to submit another batch of 10 or so houses. Acting quickly is “crucial,” she said, as NIP funding is limited and may not be available after December 2019. 

Because of this, Hamrick has encouraged the land bank board to focus on this funding source to save Mansfield’s PRIDE tax dollars and the land bank’s own funds as a backup plan -- if the NIP funding would fall through -- or as match dollars for a potentially new funding source. 

“We’re saving PRIDE for when we have no other funds. It will be there when NIP won’t,” Hamrick said. 

Ohio’s House of Representatives is currently considering legislation that would establish a program to fund demolition of blighted structures. The proposed legislation, House Bill No. 252, suggests allocating $50,000,000 for this purpose and would require a 1-to-1 local match from any land bank applying for the funding.

Further, it states that no more than 20 percent of the total annual funding can be awarded to any given organization.

Hamrick urged land bank members to call their state representatives and ask for their support of the legislation. 

“The potential impact is tremendous. Most land banks are trying to determine where our next money is coming from and it’ll let us continue doing the work we’re doing,” she said.

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