By FRANK PHILLIPS
Thanks in part to Mayor Kenny Crabb, Indiana cities may find it easier to maintain abandoned houses, if a bill before the legislature is adopted.
Crabb gave input to state legislators about the problem, Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-Terre Haute, said Saturday.
Kersey and other legislators spoke at the Clay County Crackerbarrel in the YMCA.
House Bill 1473, sponsored by representatives Kersey and R. Brooks LaPlante, R-Terre Haute, in the Indiana House and by senators Richard D. Bray, R-Martinsville, and Becky Skillman, R-Bedford, in the State Senate, would make it possible for cities to place a lien against abandoned real estate.
At Saturday's Crackerbarrel in the YMCA, Rep. Kersey explained the measure by saying there may be a year between foreclosure on a house and the time title is transferred to new owners. In the meantime, vandalism and weeds take their toll, not only on the property, but on the neighborhood. When cities board up broken windows and trim weeds, there is often no way to collect from the finance company or the new buyers. HB 1473 would allow cities place liens on such properties to collect expenses incurred by the cities before title is transferred to new owners.