Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

February 22, 2013

Leelanau gets blight grant

SUTTONS BAY — A state grant will allow Leelanau County officials to demolish two run-down homes along M-22.

The Leelanau County Land Bank Authority will receive a $58,500 blight elimination grant. The grant is part of about $15 million being doled out to various municipal entities by the Michigan Department of Human Services, Michigan Land Bank and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

County Planning Director Trudy Galla said the funds will be used to demolish two homes along M-22. One is in Bingham Township and the other is near Peshawbestown. The county land bank already owns the properties.

“Both of these homes ... need to be demolished,” she said. “There’s issues with both of them.”

Some of the money also may eventually be used to deal with a run-down garage in the village of Empire, Galla said.

The Land Bank Authority, formed in 2008, is glad to receive the money.

“This is very helpful,” Galla said. “The Land Bank Authority was thrilled when I told them. We’re fairly new in the county and don’t have a lot of funds to work with.”

A land bank is a public authority created to efficiently acquire, hold manage and develop tax foreclosed property and other vacant, blighted, obsolete and abandoned properties.

Once the homes are demolished the Land Bank will sell or transfer ownership of the property.

Benzie County authorities also are looking to address blight issues in their neck of the woods following recent concerns about the run-down “question mark” building in Honor. The building is condemned, and county officials are exploring all their legal options in pursuing demolition of the structure.

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