New Clermont County Land Band receives state funds

BATAVIA — Clermont County’s new Land Bank has been awarded $500,000 from the Ohio Department of Development for demolition of vacant and blighted structures across the county.

The Land Bank has worked with local jurisdictions to identify 28 vacant properties that are eligible for demolition. It worked to evenly distribute these funds across the county.   The $500,000 was awarded for counties, by the Ohio legislature, that apply for the funding and have eligible properties.

Vacant and blighted structures decrease property values and lead to a host of other problems which drain local fire and police resources. The newly created Clermont County Land Bank, officially named the Clermont County Land Reutilization Corporation, will be a critical tool to assist with underperforming properties.

The Land Bank had its first meeting on June 29. Members of the board are County Treasurer Jeannie Zurmehly (chair), Commissioner David Painter (vice chair), Commissioner Bonnie Batchler, Jeff Baumgarth (representing townships) and Michael Doss (representing municipalities).

Clermont County created the Land Bank to address distressed properties, improve safety and elevate quality of life. The quasi-government entity is working to return derelict, abandoned and non-tax producing properties back to the market by remediating issues that make them undesirable.

Numerous local municipalities, townships and community leaders expressed enthusiastic support for a Land Bank in Clermont County.  The Land Bank will be operated through the Clermont County Department of Community + Economic Development.  Desmond Maaytah will be managing the daily activities of the Land Bank.

The $500,000 is slated to be used by May 23, 2023.