By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Mayor Joseph Peterson hopes to use Tax Increment Finance Authority money to help build up the north end of the city as they have the south end.
The council set forth March 14, at its regular meeting, to buy a house in the 1700 block of 15th Street. City officials asked the seller, who is in her 80s, to go lower than $25,000. She refused and the council sought to use TIFA money to purchase the house, which the mayor deemed is in “terrible shape.”
Councilmen Leonard Sabuda and and Kevin VanBoxell supported the purchase while Councilmen Daniel Galeski and Ted Miciura voted against it. The purchase failed, however, because the motion failed to get two thirds of the vote. Councilwoman Sheri Sutherby-Fricke and City Assessor Thomas Woodruff were absent.
TIFA funds are state disseminated to help prevent urban deterioration and encourage economic development and activity while encouraging neighborhood revitalization and historic preservation.
“We’ve been progressively buying houses,” Peterson said. “It’s been a successful program brought up by the south end.
“It’s time to fix up the north end,” Peterson said, noting the house in question is in the north end and is in.
If purchased, the city would pay $25,000 for the house and $5,000 for demolition, and turn around and sell the property for about $70,000.
Miciura agreed the program was working well, but he doesn’t have the same faith in it now.
“It was a successful program up until 2006, 2007 until the economy (took a dive),” he said. “Since then we haven’t hardly sold any lots.”
Miciura said it’s unfair.
“Why would we keep, in this economy, rewarding people that didn’t keep up their homes?” he said. “I would have no problem buying this lot if the lots were selling left and right.”
City Administrator Todd Drysdale said he served on the city’s TIFA Board for 19 years and has witnessed the used money help revitalize neighborhoods, and reduce density and blight.
“This is smart spending to keep our city in the shape it is in,” Drysdale said, noting that the city receives a third of what they did five years ago.
It’s not immediately known if the house purchase will revisit the agenda.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)