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AI- 3084   12. B. 2.    
BOC Regular
Meeting Date: 12/05/2019  
Authorization for Land Bank Fund Transfer
FROM: Jim Dyer, Corporation Counsel, Corporation Counsel
Department: Corporation Counsel  

Information
RESOLUTION:
RESOLVED, the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners authorizes the County Treasurer to setup a reserve account within the Delinquent Tax Revolving Funds designated for the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority, and to appropriate up to $500,000 from the Land Reutilization Fund to the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority to complete the projects and activities presented in Exhibit A. These funds will only be released after the Treasurer has met obligations related to the Land Reutilization Fund and only at the time the project has commenced with supporting documentation.
RECOMMENDATION:
The Calhoun County Treasurer, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority and County Administration recommends that the County Board adopt the resolution as presented. A full copy of the proposed resolution and Exhibit A are attached.

The County Board took similar action, in December of 2014, when it authorized up to an annual $150,000 appropriation to the Land Bank Authority for post foreclosure holding costs. The County Board also approved a similar, project based, transfer of $640,000.00 on May 3, 2018, which permitted the Land Bank Authority to complete more than 20 blight eliminating demolitions of various properties throughout the County. The current request would be in addition to the previous requests and represents funding for projects and activities that the Land Bank would otherwise be unable to complete.

It is important to note that the proposed surplus designation and the proposed appropriation to the Land Bank Authority would come from the Land Reutilization Fund, which is not part of the County's General Fund. This fund, by statute, may only be used for these types of activities. It may not be used for general fund, road construction or public safety purposes.
 
BACKGROUND:
The Calhoun County Treasurer became the Foreclosing Governmental Unit (FGU) for Calhoun County by County Board action on December 16, 2004 as authorized under Section 78 (3) of Public Act 206 as amended, MCL 211.7. To assist with the post-acquisition costs of the tax foreclosed properties that came into the County Treasurer's ownership the County also created the Land Reutilization Fund (518)  in 2006 to account for revenues collected by the Treasurer, including State mandated fees, to cover expenses associated with State mandated pre-foreclosure activities such as title work, property notification by in-person visits and certified mailings, parcel redemption expenses, and post-foreclosure holding costs and remediation expenses (including property demolition where necessary) related to the Treasurer's ownership of these foreclosed properties.

On July 1, 2006, the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners authorized the creation of the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) to more efficiently and effectively manage and dispose of foreclosed properties. Generally, the County Treasurer will transfer all foreclosed properties not sold at auction and refused by the local units to the CCLBA for holding and remediation until a final disposition of the property can be established and executed. 
 
More recently, on December 7, 2017, a policy governing declaration and transfer of surplus funds from the DTRF to the Calhoun County General Fund for purposes authorized by Section 87(b) of Public Act 206 as amended, MCL 211.87b. To assist the CCLBA in its operations the County Treasurer proposes this transfer from the Land Reutilization Fund of an amount sufficient to cover the cost of the projects and activities described in Exhibit A.

This request does differ from the 2018 allocation in that it seeks funding to accomplish a range of activities including demolition, rehabilitation, and stabilization.  In addition, some of the projects are confirmed, such as the demolition of the old Union Steel building at 501 N Berrien Street and the remediation of environmental material at 131 N Superior.  However, Land Bank staff is still reviewing properties it just received from the County Treasurer to determine an appropriate intervention strategy and realizes that the priority of projects may change when that review is complete.  Therefore, this request seeks $303,182 for industrial demolition, $42,889 for the stabilization of 131 N Superior, just over $80,000 for the demolition of blighted residential structures, and a little more than $70,000 for residential rehabilitation.  As with the 2018 request, Land Bank staff is bringing a mix of match funds including its own dollars, grant money, and partner funds.

This Resolution acknowledges that, in undertaking demolitions, property management, etc., the Land Bank is acting in cooperation and collaboration with the Treasurer as the Foreclosing Governmental Unit and the County, to manage these properties. It also acknowledges that County's role as a partner with the Land Bank in stopping the spread of blight, addressing environmental concerns, and taking positive steps to create better neighborhoods and increasing property values in Calhoun County.

Pursuant to this Resolution, the Treasurer would be authorized to make appropriations of sufficient funds to the Land Bank to be used to demolish, rehabilitate, or stabilize the properties and activities described in Exhibit A. These appropriations would come from the Land Reutilization Fund, which is not part of the General Fund, and this fund, by statute, may only be used for these types of activities.
ALTERNATIVES:
As suggested by the Commission. However, the projects listed in Exhibit A will not be able to proceed without this appropriation.
SUMMARY:
Pursuant to this Resolution, the County would appropriate and the Treasurer would be authorized to make payments of sufficient funds to the Land Bank to be used to demolish the properties in Exhibit A . The payments would come from the Land Reutilization Fund, which is not part of the County's General Fund. Additionally, this fund may only be used for these types of activities.

Fiscal Impact
BUDGETARY IMPACT:
There is no General Fund impact.
Attachments
Land Bank Appropriation Resolution
List of Proposed Projects

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