Urbana council to vote on joining state abandoned-property program

Urbana council to vote on joining state abandoned-property program

URBANA — The city could be joining in the Illinois Housing Development Authority's abandoned-property program to receive $71,000 for residential plots.

The program provides financial aid for maintaining, securing and clearing vacant noncommercial properties. Urbana's Community Development Commission unanimously approved the city's participation Tuesday, and the city council will vote on it Monday.

Funding comes from the Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Program, according to a city memorandum.

If the city is approved to participate in the program, it would be involved for no more than two years and would have to spend all of its funds within that time.

Kelly Mierkowski, manager of the city's grants-management division, said the fund would be available after July 1.

"The city is currently proposing that these funds be used for reimbursement of costs already expended to maintain lots on which abandoned properties (have) already been demolished, for future property maintenance activities and for demolition of blighted and abandoned properties in the city," according to the memorandum.

Other funding purposes the IHDA allows with the program are trimming overgrown vegetation, pest control, boarding up and closing the property off.

Urbana applied to the program in October 2016 and was notified of its eligible funding this February.

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