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Community Affairs Committee updated on delinquent property owner efforts by Codes and Regulations

Friday October 29, 2010

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
               Stephen Haag 574-1204/645-1752

Members of the Louisville Metro Council’s Community Affairs Committee were given an update Wednesday on how effective an ad published in the Courier Journal in September has been in focusing attention on delinquent property owners.

“Overall, the ad is doing the job we wanted in letting the public know we are serious about cleaning up problem areas in all our council districts,” said Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, (D-2) who chairs the Committee. “I am encouraged.”

James Mims, the Director of Codes and Regulations provided the update and praised the Committee for initiating the effort.

“Something needed to be done and my office is glad that this issue has been put at the forefront,” said Mims.

The Director pointed out that prior to the ad running, collections on liens was averaging about $11,600 per week. Since the ad, the amount has climbed to an average of $12,200. The Department has also seen stabilization in the weekly collections.. In the 35 weeks prior to the ad, one week collections could be as high as $30,000, then the next as low as $4,000.

“We have had many people tell us properties are being cleaned up and the public is beginning to realize who owns many of these properties,” said Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14), who is a member of the committee. “There is still a great deal of work to be done though.”

The Committee was told more delinquent property owners are making the effort to pay fines, correct problems and clean up their properties. Mims mentioned efforts are underway to make changes to state law and local ordinances are being considered so that Metro Government could recoup more taxpayer dollars when properties are sold and are in the foreclosure process.

“It is difficult to tell how much money has been waived because state laws has not been changed and we have to do a better job of convincing Frankfort to help us recover the money we are spending taking care of these problem properties,” says Henderson.

On September 23rd, the Metro Council published an ad in the Courier Journal that listed 263 property owners that are delinquent in liens of over $12,000. The fines total over $17 million owed to Metro Louisville.

“I want the public to know we are staying on top of this issue, it is not going away,” says Shanklin. “The ad was just the first in a series of efforts to deal with this problem and I think the committee is encouraged by what we have heard.”

Sponsors:
Barbara Shanklin (D) 2
Bob Henderson (D) 14