Howard board backs purchasing three blighted properties
By Press Times Staff
HOWARD – After meeting in closed session Monday, Feb. 22, the village board unanimously approved the purchase of three parcels near village hall at 2444 and 2448 Glendale Ave. for $417,000, contingent upon the village receiving state approval to use Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the purchase.
Village Administrator Paul Evert said the three parcels, which total about 2.5 acres, were included in the village’s blight finding, which makes the purchase eligible for CDBG funds.
“The state does have to approve each purchase specifically,” he said. “They have not done that yet.”
The board also requested state approval to use its revolving loan fund money to demolish the Green Bay Corp. building, frequently referred to as the pickle factory on village-owned land at 2014 Glendale Ave., and use the remaining funds to buy blighted properties from interested sellers.
Evert said the state decided to close all local revolving loan funds started by CDBGs.
The village faced having to return the money to the state by the end of last year, unless allowed to apply to use the money for projects eligible under grant standards to benefit low-to-moderate-income individuals or to eliminate blight.
Upon taking down the Green Bay Corp. building, Evert said that would leave the village with a balance of about $500,000 to $600,000.
After the village would buy land considered blighted, Evert said use of the properties cannot be changed for five years.
“We are allowed to demolish buildings using the grant money,” he said.
Evert said the current owner of the three parcels, Karen Marks, will be given a “life estate” in the home she currently uses, meaning she may stay in the home as long as she is able.
“The home immediately next to village hall will be taken down this year,” he said. “Again, it is all contingent on the state letting us use the grant money.”
The board also met in closed session to discuss the potential purchase of four parcels in the village center area and the possible acquisition of land for public works expansion, but Evert said no other action was taken.