Land bank approves sale of property to local businessman

Guernsey County Land Bank on Tuesday approved the sale of two lots on Wall Avenue in Cambridge to a local business owner looking for a place to house his work trucks, and will begin the process of removing a squatter from ‘another property.

“He has already cleaned up the property and is ready to buy it from us,” Treasurer Kim Conrath told the board ahead of the unanimous vote to sell the property.

The purchase price of the two lots and a garage to be repaired is $ 2,000. The houses on the lots were previously demolished by the land bank.

Conrath told the board of directors that Charles Banks had submitted a plan for the site that included the ongoing maintenance of the property.

The council also agreed to accept vacant land on Morton Avenue in the town of a North Carolina resident who inherited it from the previous owner. The property will be given to the land bank after the owner has not been able to sell it.

Haught reported that the land has limited access and street parking is prohibited.

Board members cleared a mowing contract with a resident of Old Glory Road seeking to acquire neighboring property owned by the land bank after the application was submitted by the county commissioner and council member Skip Gardner administration.

Lucas Tree Service recently removed a fallen tree from one-fifth of an acre on the Old Glory Road property at the request of the board of directors.

Conrath informed that a resident of North Eighth Street signed the necessary documents for a similar mowing contract to own a neighboring property.

In other cases, the council has approved the opening of eviction proceedings against Mark Murphy, a man believed to be squatting in a house on Church Street in Senecaville owned by the land bank.

Murphy reportedly lost ownership of the house during foreclosure proceedings. He allegedly ignored several requests to release the property.

The board had previously filed a deportation order due to an ongoing sentencing hearing for Murphy following criminal convictions in the Guernsey County Common Plea Court.

Murphy is to be sentenced on November 10 for theft offenses involving construction scams against elderly residents of Guernsey County.

Conrath reported that the land bank recently received an offer of $ 3,000 for the property.

During the financial report, council approved the repayment of a line of credit of $ 5,027.86 through the Guernsey County Port Authority.

The land bank balance is $ 59,016 before loan repayment.

Conrath also discussed an ongoing baseline audit by the state for 2019, 2020 and part of 2021. The audit is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

County commissioner and board member Dave Wilson confirmed the land bank still plans to award the village a property at 305 Main Street in Pleasant City after the recent demolition of a three-story building. floors which was razed for security reasons.

Council plans to award the lot to the village after a historic marker required by the Ohio Historical Connection in Columbus is erected next year.

Kim Haught said the land bank plans to apply for a grant in May to purchase the marker that will designate the lot as a former home of the Knights of Pythias.

The Knights of Pythias were an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, established in 1864 in Washington, DC, by Justus H. Rathbone. It was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an act of Congress.

Ron Gombeda of the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation asked other board members to research homes that could be renovated to sell to local veterans.

Gombeda said he was working with someone who volunteered with the CDC for 90 days to repair houses and that this man was looking for houses that could be purchased for such a project.

“He’s motivated and I think it’s a win for the community,” Gombeda said.

Finally, the board approved moving the date of its regular meeting to the fourth Wednesday of the month. The land bank previously met on the third Wednesday of the month.

As a result, the board of directors will meet on November 24 at 11 a.m. in the boardroom of the Guernsey County Administrative Building, 627 Wheeling Ave. in downtown Cambridge.

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