In a special meeting Friday, the Clay County Commissioners signed its portion of an interlocal agreement resolution to sell as many as seven Tax Sale Certificates to the City of Brazil.
"I am really in favor of getting these properties in the hands of people who will do something with them," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "Not only will this help the city in their cleanup efforts, but it will help the county get the parcels back on the tax roll."
The agreement states certificates for the seven parcels will be sold to the city for $175 apiece, and the city will also be responsible for going through the normal process of conducting a title search and sending out notices to interested parties before a tax deed may be obtained. The tax deed must be obtained before any work on the properties may begin.
However, a couple more steps must be taken before the sale of the certificates can commence.
"We need to do an environmental review and are currently doing appraisals on each of the parcels," Brazil Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens informed the Commissioners. "The actual purchase could come sometime in October."
In the meantime, the resolution must also be reviewed and approved in public meetings by both the Brazil Board of Public Works and Safety and the Common Council of the City of Brazil before the terms of the interlocal agreement go into effect.
Gibbens said the purchase of the properties with NSP grant funds is allowable by standards set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the city plans to purchase the properties regardless of the results of the environmental review.
"Even if the environmental review comes back and we can't utilize the NSP funds on a certain property, we will still purchase it through the city's Unsafe Building Fund," she said. "It's important to get the properties back on the tax roll, but also to bring them back to a condition were residents can use them."
However, there is a stipulation in the agreement which allows the city to remove one of the seven properties from the purchase as long as a written notice is submitted to the commissioners by Oct. 15, 2009.
Of the seven properties to be purchased, two are located on West Kruzan Street, one is on each of North Depot, Chestnut, North McGuire streets and another is on West National Avenue, while the seventh is a vacant lot on North Hoosier Street.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday Oct. 5, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.