The Union Recorder

Local News

May 24, 2013

Land bank could address local blight



Commissioners favor the land bank concept, though some don't see creating another authority as the right way. 

Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority executive director Matt Poyner said that group is already setup to be the property conduit.

The DA executive board uses four city, four county and one joint member, which answers the odd number land bank act item.

“We maintain, acquire and manage land,” Poyner said. “If you want to put this together that's great, but I think you've already got a mechanism in the development authority that can do all this. That's available right now.”

Brown said this using the already established board to act as a land bank happens often.

“If there is some specific reason that you want to have one, you've already got a board from your development authority. Just appoint the same board. That happens all the time,” Brown said.

Tommy French, District 2 commissioner, said placing the described property management duties with a trained development authority makes more sense than specifying another group.

“Development authority already has a board in place,” French said. “To save money, we need to utilize resources we have.”

Brown concurred on the price point of using the existing joint city and county authority versus a new group.

“It's expensive to form a new authority,” he said. “It's become less attractive to create a new authority if you've got one there simply because the regulations surrounding new authorities cost money.” 

Creating a Milledgeville-Baldwin County land bank through the current development authority executive board does what a land bank can't do alone.

“Milledgeville and Baldwin County are lucky they have a constitutional development authority. You can't create those anymore after the 1983 change in the Georgia Constitution. It has all the powers a land bank would have and then some,” Brown said. “There is one thing that a land bank authority can't do. It can't transact business with a private entity. The development authority can do it for public and private purposes.” 

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