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Harrisburg officials working on city land bank

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The capital city could soon have its own land bank authority.

The Harrisburg City Council has a committee meeting slated for 5:30 p.m. June 5 to discuss a proposed land bank ordinance, said Kirk Petroski, the city’s clerk.

Land banks are designed to acquire, manage and market vacant and tax-foreclosed properties. The goal is to clean up the titles on these properties — often acquired through tax sales or a county’s repository of unsold properties — and get them back into productive reuse.

The city land bank authority would be composed of seven members — five from the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority and two members appointed by the mayor, according to the proposed ordinance.

Dauphin County adopted a land bank ordinance last May and launched a pilot program to target needs in its smaller municipalities. The county used $250,000 in gaming funds to launch the land bank.

Harrisburg and other larger municipalities have not been included in the county land bank because of the limited start-up funds. The city also receives its own allocation of Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds, said August “Skip” Memmi, director of the Dauphin County Department of Economic and Community Development.

State law allows municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more to create public land bank authorities.

A grouping of two municipalities with populations less than 10,000 also are permitted to establish and maintain a land bank.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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