Ruined Kosciuszko Street house could be purchased by Manistee for pilot program

Manistee — The city of Manistee may purchase degraded land as part of a new pilot program.

The property came up during discussions of the city’s strategic plans at a Manistee City Council work session on Tuesday. This plan was last updated in May 2020.

A strategic plan is a document that guides the city’s priorities, and housing is what the city wants to work on.

The house at 1001 Kosciusko St. was previously owned by an out-of-state person, but was vacant and allowed for tax foreclosure. The house is up for auction, according to Manistee City Manager Bill Gambill.

I didn’t do anything because it was a study session

Gambill wanted to know if the city council would be interested in buying the house and rebuilding or tearing it down to make new lots for housing.

The city was able to buy properties using a tool called “right of first refusal.” Despite its name, the right derives from the General Property Tax Act, which allows a city, township, or municipal authority to issue a minimum bid to the government unit that has seized the property if no other entity has submitted a bid. allows you to pay for

In this case, the county becomes the government unit that seized the land.

“Last night the (Manistee City) council indicated they were interested in vetoing. I am currently working with the county on the process, so it’s not a sure thing yet,” Gambill said. “This property is on our crisis list and we are looking at this as a pilot project to address it.”

To learn more about the pilot program, Gambill wrote to News Advocate in an email.

“We have discussed this as a pilot in that it is the first time the city has used its first veto to combat the epidemic and improve housing stock in the community.”

He said the city will consider options on a case-by-case basis.

“If we acquire a property, we will evaluate our options and evaluate options such as restoring the property in human habitat or demolishing a dilapidated structure and turning it into a buildable lot. If the process is successful, it can be replicated,” Gambill wrote.

The council agreed that it was a good idea, and several council members spoke enthusiastically about the idea.

“It’s a really interesting project to look at the real estate zone of the future. We’re talking about housing here, and without that, I’m really interested in thinking that there might be an opportunity to do this kind of thing.” There was. Making housing better — I don’t see why not at least look into it and see if it makes economic sense for us.

Council member Erin Martin Pontiac also spoke in support of the idea.

“I think it’s a great starting point … where it is and how it is now — I think it’s a good choice,” she said.

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