Latrobe will join county land bank
Seven nuisance properties in Latrobe could be improved as a result of city council's decision to join the newly formed Westmoreland County Land Bank program, but Mayor Rosie Wolford views it as more of a proactive step when compared to municipalities such as Monessen,where more than 200 properties are languishing.
“It's manageable right now, but we have to get our arms around it,” she said after council's meeting on Monday.
Council voted unanimously to enter an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with Westmoreland County to pay the $5,000 to join about 10 other communities in the program administered by the county redevelopment authority.
West Newton's council members agreed to enter into a similar agreement with the program on Monday.
Through the land bank, those blighted properties with delinquent taxes could be acquired, then sold or demolished and the land resold.
City manager Alex Graziani said the city has to “babysit” these properties, including one in particular on Ligonier Street where public works has mowed the grass and even had to remove the porch because of safety concerns.
Councilman Mike Skapura asked if the goal of the land bank was to return properties to tax rolls.
Graziani responded that once the property is purchased by the land bank through a judicial sale, the city can help set conditions of the sale to exclude tax-exempt organizations, if so desired.
Solicitor Jim Kelly said if the city would purchase the property, it would be required to sell it to the low bidder and could not include such conditions guaranteeing a return to real estate taxes.
The redevelopment authority has invested $50,000 in the program, and the municipality must give the program half of any real estate taxes collected for the first five years after it is sold. The school district must do the same.
Graziani said joining the program at the beginning may ensure that the city benefits from this initial financial investment by the county.
“The land bank allows us to address with the county something we're not large enough to do on our own,” he said before the meeting.
Wolford said any agreement that saves financial resources and shares ideas is beneficial.
“We're all kind of in the same boat; we need to row in the same direction,” she said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash
- Forbes: Monday is pizza night at St. Pius
- YouTube campaign by Latrobe 4-year-old aids Alzheimer’s Association
- Consent decree that limits weddings at Foxley Farms ruled valid
- Adelphoi resident charged as adult in Latrobe assault
- Police: Westmoreland women stole thousands to pay for dog show hobby
- Murrysville man draws on experiences in starting SAT prep academy
- Sunoco wants to rebuild station in Greensburg
- Latrobe man who admitted role in fatal crash allowed to continue driving
- Geyer helps revive Scottdale theater that bears family name