Ordinance endorses land bank effort

From: Altoona Mirror

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County will soon advertise an ordinance endorsing an Altoona-led effort to set up a land bank aimed at reducing blight and encouraging development.

An earlier version of the proposed ordinance generated questions about coverage of county-assigned costs that are typically paid when a property is purchased from the county’s tax claim bureau.

Those costs — typically about $2,000 — will mostly be covered by the land bank that based on developing efforts will be operated by the Altoona Re-development Authority.

As spelled out in the proposed ordinance that commissioners agreed Tuesday to advertise, the land bank is to pay “a purchase price” reflecting the city’s and school district’s portions of the county-assigned costs associated with holding the property. Those portions will be computed based on the total real estate millage levied by the city, school district and county.

“In the end, the dollars didn’t change,” solicitor Nathan Karn said Tuesday after the commissioners meeting.

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