Land Bank meeting 12/7….the good, the bad, and the ugly

We asked for a meeting with Mr. John Rogers, , Executive Director of the Lake County Land Bank, to discuss several of the properties in Lake County that are being helped by the Lake County Land Bank:

  1. Mary Magadelene Rectory and Convent in Willowick
  2. Crossroads in Painesville
  3. Vacant Building at 75 North State Street in Painesville

Mr, John Rogers met with four of us today.  He took the time to educate us on the who, what, and  why there is a need for a Land Bank.  Rather that recite what is on their website, here is their website that you can review:

The concept of the Land Bank was established by the State of Ohio and their rules and regulations are covered under Ohio Revised Code section 1724.  For those that like to read legalese, here is their website that you can review:

There is some flexibility on how the entity can be set-up.   Mr. Rogers chose to establish the Lake County Land Bank as a Non-Profit 501 (c ) (3) under the IRS regulations.  It’s official name is the Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation.   It is not a government entity, but there is governmental representation on their Board with  two Commissioners, the County treasurer, and several members from Lake County communities. 
(Comment: We have attended several Land Bank Board meetings, and we see active participation from the Board members, and they are not just a “rubber stamp” for Mr. Rogers)

The Land Bank receives funding from several different sources:
  1. The Lake County commissioners approved a 5% fee of the funds generated by the Treasurer’s Office for penalties and interest charged to taxpayers that are delinquent of paying their real estate taxes.  This amounted to $700,000 for 2017.

 2. Federal and State of Ohio grants: From MOF (Moving Ohio Forward) 9/13 – 1/15, they spent $1,183,000 to cover 64 demolitions. From NIP (Neighborhood Investment Program), they received $1,250,000 and have spent $967,498 to date on 31 homes. (Comment: There seems to be a virtual “sea of money” available for a myriad of projects in Lake County.  Knowledge of how the whole system seems to be key to ensure we get our share of the largess. We just wonder what is expected of our public officials and the taxpayers to get the money.)

3. Property sales
4. Borrow money from various sources
5. Donations – pemitted since they are an I.R.S. 501 (c ) (3) Non-Profit

We do believe that there is a valid need for a Land Bank in each County.  There are currently 47 of them in the State of Ohio.  They do provide a necessary function of removing blighted properties, which will increase property values of the surrounding properties, and may enable the County to collect property taxes on the refurbished properties.

(Comment: Mr. Rogers seems passionate about his role as the Executive Director, and is very well qualified with his legal background to sort through the legal maze associated with abandoned or neglected properties.  Our only issue is that this appears to be a full-time position, and with Mr. Rogers also being a State Representative, we are not sure if he can adequately serve both masters.)

Mr. Rogers was asked what he considers when he gets a request for assistance in demolishing, or restoring a building.  He replied that there are many factors, but the one factor that is not considered is if the requesting party has the financial resources to pay for the work?  Mr. Rogers stated that he does not inquire about the financial capabilities of the owners of the property.  (Comment:  This is where we must object to Mr. Rogers’ policy.  When ANY entity has the ample financial resources, in our opinion they should not look to the taxpayers to bail them out)

Here is why we asked for the meeting:

  1. Mary Magadelene, the Roman Catholic Church in Willowick, requested the Land Bank’s assistance in demolishing their convent and rectory that they had abandoned more than 15 years ago. They had let the property become blighted through sheer neglect and an unwillingness to do their part to maintain the property.  The City of Willowick, for some reason, did not condemn the property, and make the Church do what was necessary to be good members of the community.

Here is a picture of the buildings to illustrate how the Catholic Church neglected their role as community members:      Pic 1

Mr. Rogers stated that he has estimated that the cost of demolition will be $175,000 .  The parcel of land will be “donated” to the Land Bank, and there may be 1 or 2 homes built on the land.  However, Mr. Rogers does not believe that he can recoup the $175,000 that taxpayers will have to pay.  So we can say the the taxpayers have donated to the Catholic Church even if they are not a member.

With the financial resources of the Catholic Church, we do not think that they should be solving their problems with other people’s money.  Here is an example of their financial strength.

Summary of revenue and expenses for 2016 (64.6% of their expenses in the form of compensation) :     Form 990 Summary page 1 2016

Balance Sheet as of 12/31/16 (note the $19,769,475 marketable securities and almost $8 million in cash on hand:   Balance sheet 2016

  1. The non-profit Agency known as Crossroads recently purchased the old Colony Lumber facility in Painesville. There were two buildings that needed to be demolished, and again, another “well-heeled” non-profit knocks on the door of the Land Bank and gets $35,000 for the project.  This is after Crossroads had already received a Community Block Grant that they turned down.

Here is an excerpt of Crossroads Form 990 filed with the I.R.S..  Please note that they have over $7,000,000 in marketable securities.   Crossroads Balance Sheet as of 6-30-16

3      There is an abandoned building at 265 North State Street in Painesville.  It is across the street from the St. Mary’s Church, and was formerly a car dealership.  The property is being aggressively pursued by a group known as Hola.  They originally sold the Lake County Commissioners and the Land Bank on the idea of creating an “incubator kitchen” so that their members can make cakes, cookies, etc. and sell them at farmer’s markets.  However, their “incubator kitchen” has evolved into a Community Center complete with stage and meeting rooms.


265 North State Street
Painesville – Proposed Community Center

There are many problems with the building.  There is only one parking space for the facility; the roof needs to be replaced at a cost of $80,000, fuel storage tanks will need to be filled with concrete, and all of these costs will be borne by the taxpayers.

So far, nearly $300,000 of taxpayers’ money has been designated for Hola’s Community Center.   To the best of our knowledge, Hola has no personal investment in their Community Center.  Hola will have to apply for exemption from payment of real estate taxes and, if approved, there will be no real estate taxes collected on this property.

(Comment:  We have no issue with any community center.  However, if it is to be privately owned for the benefit for only one group of people then they should use private not public funds to buy and refurbish the building  It is our recommendation that this eyesore be demolished)

We welcome any comments or questions that you may have.  We will do our best to gather the information for all of the citizens of Lake County.

Categories: Lake

30 replies

  1. 46933 574588You got a quite fantastic website, Glad I observed it via yahoo. 565221

  2. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  3. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  4. Well I definitely enjoyed studying it. This subject offered by you is very effective for good planning.

  5. 611356 4267fantastic work Superb weblog here! Also your internet site a good deal up quick! What web host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link on your host? I want my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol 307031

  6. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to return the favor.I am trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  7. 521108 960828I enjoy your writing type, do keep on writing! Ill be back! 482713

  8. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  9. 849674 848134I actually got into this post. I located it to be fascinating and loaded with distinctive points of interest. I like to read material that makes me think. Thank you for writing this excellent content material. 835818

  10. You could definitely see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  11. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  12. You possess a fantastic aptitude. Your creating proficiencies are literally superior. Gratitudes for submitting information on the web and teaching your users.

  13. Wonderful work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

  14. I journal frequently as well as I honestly value your material. This amazing article has absolutely actually peaked my attention. I am going to book mark your site as well as keep looking for fresh data about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed in addition.

  15. 435850 325265There is visibly a bunch to know about this. I believe you created various very good points in capabilities also. 423950

  16. Hey very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  17. I just could not leave your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the standard info an individual supply on your guests? Is gonna be again frequently in order to check up on new posts.

  18. 794085 351866Its always good to learn ideas like you share for weblog posting. As I just started posting comments for weblog and facing dilemma of lots of rejections. I believe your suggestion would be valuable for me. I will let you know if its work for me too. 623677

  19. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you?¦ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a great website.

  20. 577046 350962I always was concerned in this topic and stock still am, regards for posting . 180564

  21. Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  22. excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  23. I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  24. Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I include a fragment of your post to my blog?

  25. Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…

  26. I conceive other website proprietors should take this web site as an example , very clean and wonderful user friendly design and style.

  27. 65291 530778How considerably of an exciting piece of writing, continue creating companion 584828

  28. 703732 275561whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Keep up the wonderful work! You know, lots of people are searching around for this information, you can aid them greatly. 891874

  29. 279673 226196View the following ideas less than and find to know how to observe this situation whilst you project your home business today. Earn funds from home 187805

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: