Treasurer offers services, Land Bank update

FLINT TWP. — It is uncertain what will happen when weeds start growing next spring on township properties owned by the Genesee County Land Bank which is facing substantial budget cuts for the coming year.

Questions about it were posed to County Treasurer Deborah Cherry during a courtesy visit last week to the Township Board of Trustees meeting.

Cherry said she mainly stopped by to say hello and to offer her services to township officials. She extended an invitation to Treasurer Sandra Wright to meet to discuss countywide investing and different tax collection opportunities that could benefit everybody.

“I am looking for other opportunities as you see things that you think we can be working together on,’’ Cherry told the board.

Trustee Frank Kasle raised the Land Bank property maintenance question to Cherry, who also is chairperson of the Land Bank Board of Directors.

“Since you are here, we are concerned, at least I am, about what is going on with the Land Bank and reduction of funding,’’ he said. “ We have in our township a number of Land Bank properties. I am concerned about how those are going to be maintained.”

Cherry said she also is concerned and will be in ongoing talks in the next few months with the County Board of Commissioners to work out solutions.

She said her view is that fees and penalties collected from people for not paying their taxes is designated by state law to support property maintenance for foreclosures, but county commissioners see it differently and make other use of the funds.

“I believe there is a strong case for that,’’ Cherry said of the maintenance fund designation.

She also said she is talking with some churches that want to get involved in helping with property maintenance next year.

Cherry also reminded the board that Public Act 123 passed in 1999 when she was a state representative accelerates the process for taking over abandoned properties. If no one has paid taxes on a property for a year, and certain conditions are met by which the property is deemed abandoned, the township can pass a resolution by October of every year to expedite the foreclosure and reclamation process, she said.

About 50 township properties including half that are vacant lots are being offered for sale Friday in a Michigan Public Land Auction sale at the county building, according to a listing published on the Land Bank web site.

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