Crawford County Land Bank FAQs

“County Land Bank” is the informal name for a land reutilization corporation established under Sections 1724 and 5722 of the Ohio Revised Code.  County land banks are quasi-governmental organizations with the public purpose of reclaiming, rehabilitating and reutilizing economically non-productive land.

County land banks allow communities to recover from the foreclosure crisis. County land banks facilitate the return of vacant, abandoned and tax foreclosed properties to productive economic use.

County land banks acquire property is a number of ways. The most common method is through tax foreclosure. Home owners may also choose to transfer their low value, tax burdened residential properties to the Land Bank in lieu of foreclosure. Additionally, since the Crawford County Land Bank is a 501(c)3, private individuals may choose to donate property.

A County land bank is established by a two-part process: the board of county commissioners passes a resolution authorizing the formation of a land bank, then the county treasurer files articles of incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State. After incorporation, county commissioners approve the corporation’s operating documents. After this approval, the county land bank board of directors operates the county land bank.

County land banks are not a part of county government. Instead, county land banks are independent corporations governed by a board of directors comprised of county, municipal and township leaders. The board of directors of a county land bank, per statute, must include at least two county commissioners and the county treasurer, a representative of the largest municipality in the county and an at-large member (chosen, again by statute, by the county commissioner board members and the county treasurer). Up to four additional members can be included on the county land bank board.

The Crawford County Land Bank Board members are: Jenny Vermillion and Doug Weisenauer (County Commissioners), Gary Cole (Chairman, County Treasurer), Jeff Reser (Mayor of Bucyrus) and Jennifer Kuns (member at-large). We have chosen the County Treasurer’s Office to oversee the Land Bank and utilize a staff associate- Barb McCullough, as manager.

The county commissioners can elect to increase the county’s delinquent tax and assessment collection (DTAC) fund to provide county land banks with operating income. The county treasurer may make special advances of late payments of first half taxes and/or newly delinquent taxes with the associated penalties and interest allocated to the land bank. Additionally, the county land bank can borrow money, receive money through land sales, and obtain funds as a state or federal grant applicant.

The Crawford County Land Bank is currently funded through a portion of the DTAC funds and will be reimbursed for projects by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s NIP grant.

County land banks help communities stabilize the property tax base. County land banking greatly reduces “flipping” of low value properties and the economic and social damage caused by the repeated transfers of the sale low value properties. County land banking allows communities to stabilize their housing base by eliminating blight and removing uninhabitable or functionally obsolete housing from the marketplace. County land banking allows for the orderly redevelopment of communities. In short, county land banks allow communities to recover from the foreclosure crisis.

The Crawford County Land Bank seeks to take ownership of vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent residential properties. We will facilitate the demolition (if the structure is blighted) or transfer to new owners (if vacant land or re-habitable structure). Our hope is to increase property values by cleaning up our neighborhoods.

Originally only the largest Ohio counties were authorized to operate land banks. Legislative changes, effective September 29, 2015, allowed for all Ohio counties to establish land banks.

The Crawford County Land Bank was incorporated in December, 2015. Please visit our Listing of Ohio Counties with existing land banks

Applications are available on our website or can be provided by contacting our office. Your application will need to be processed and approved by our board of directors.

Applications are available on our website or can be provided by contacting our office. Homeowners with vacant property adjacent on either side or to the rear of their home have the option to purchase that property.

We have partnered with the local municipalities to inspect, secure, clear lots, and maintain the lawns of our properties.

If you have any questions that have not been answered, please contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions!