County to spend $57,000 on properties

MARQUETTE – The Marquette County Board agreed Tuesday to purchase 15 foreclosed properties for $57,000, transferring ownership of those parcels to the county’s land bank authority for resale or redevelopment.

The mission of the authority is to work collaboratively with local community organizations and governmental units in finding the best way to return tax-foreclosed properties to the tax roll.

Marquette County Treasurer and Land Bank Authority Chairwoman Anne Giroux said she foreclosed on 38 properties April 1, of which, the authority had an interest in 15.

The county board approved purchase of those parcels for a minimum bid totaling $56,935, which is the amount of delinquent taxes and penalties on each property owed to the county’s delinquent tax fund. Money for the purchases will be provided by the authority.

“The land bank authority is still in the process of researching the costs on some of the properties, as well as participation from local units of government,” Giroux said in a memo to the county board recommending the land purchases. “If the demolition of structures is cost-prohibitive or there is no commitment from the local unit of government, it (the authority) may choose not to take one or more (properties).”

Giroux said if the authority declines any of the properties, they will be sold to the highest bidder at auction through the normal tax auction process.

The 15 properties are located in Ely, Forsyth, Negaunee, Republic townships, the city of Ishpeming and the city of Negaunee.

Giroux provided a description, the total minimum bid price, and an expected outcome for each of the properties purchased by the county:

ELY TOWNSHIP:

– A residential structure in poor condition. An adjoining property owner has agreed to purchase the property for the minimum bid and demolish the building. Minimum bid: $3,912.

FORSYTH TOWNSHIP:

– Two vacant lots, which adjoin property purchased and sold by the authority three years ago. The same purchaser would acquire them for the total minimum bid price of $1,749.

– A residential structure in good condition in Gwinn. The authority expects to get a higher than auction price for the parcel by attracting owner-occupants to the home, marketed through a realtor. Minimum bid: $4,527.

– A blighted mobile home in poor condition, which was foreclosed on three years ago. The authority would like to raze the structure and associated out-buildings, with the help of Forsyth Township. Minimum bid: $1,871.

– A duplex in poor condition at K.I. Sawyer. The property is in receivership and the authority has been working with an attorney representing the receiver to allow the treasurer to foreclose on the property. If the request is granted, a purchaser has been found willing to pay an amount slightly higher than the minimum bid of $9,197 for the parcel.

NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP:

– A blighted residential structure. The authority would demolish the structure and negotiate with an adjoining land owner, who has an interest, or list the parcel with a realtor. Minimum bid: $3,252.

REPUBLIC TOWNSHIP:

– A blighted residential structure. The authority is seeking grant funding to demolish the structure. If the funding is not approved, the authority would still have an interest in razing the building. Minimum bid: $4,377.

CITY OF ISHPEMING:

– A vacant lot where the city previously demolished a structure. An adjoining property owner has an interest and is willing to pay slightly more than the minimum bid of $1,693.

– A vacant land-locked parcel with little value to anyone but the adjoining property owner, who is interested in purchasing the land. The authority will negotiate. Minimum bid: $761.

– A blighted residential structure. The county is seeking grant funding for demolition and would be interested in razing the home even if grant funds are not allocated. Minimum bid: $3,266.

– A residential structure in poor condition. The authority is discussing options with city officials and demolition may be an option. If the city is unable to assist, the treasurer will sell the property at auction. Minimum bid: $4,206.

– A blighted residential structure. The county is seeking grant funding for demolition and would be interested in razing the home even if grant funds are not allocated. Minimum bid: $2,666.

– A residential property in good condition. The authority thinks it can get a higher price and attract owner occupants by marketing the land through a realtor, versus a tax sale. Minimum bid: $8,597.

CITY OF NEGAUNEE:

– A residential structure in poor condition. The authority wants to demolish the structure and is seeking help from the city. Minimum bid: $6,879.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net.