McCook city attorney sparks interest in regional land bank | State and Regional News
Mustion proposed the idea to the council earlier in the year and the council was receptive to the idea. Since then, he and Lisa Shifflet, another McCook attorney who works with Mustion, have been gauging interest from other communities.
Nuisance properties, or abandoned or vacant houses, are expensive to demolish, said McCook City Manager Nate Schneider and can be complicated and time-consuming in tracing ownership. Last year, $25,000 was budgeted for nuisance abatement, with one residence at 406 E. First slated for demolition. It will cost $12,000 for the demolition and another $9,000 for asbestos removal and tipping fees at the city dump, he said.
Dilapidated and abandoned properties afflict communities of all sizes, Schneider said.
“We all have the same problem, trying to figure it out,” he said. “Clearing the title is the big issue.”
Schneider said he’d prefer the private sector to buy the properties if possible. But that’s not always doable with unresolved ownership or public liens against the property, which is where a land bank can help.
Regional land banks would be funded with donations from public, private and charitable organizations and by charging each municipality a fee, possibly based on a per capita figure. As the land bank uses pooled resources, a community can decide to forgo using revenue for several years to reserve funds for a property that requires extensive funds to demolish.