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Ownership of Garfield property on hold

GOSHEN TOWNSHIP – The cleaning up of a Garfield property will now be turned over to the incoming trustees after a foreclosure of adjacent lots fell through.

Trustees this week dissolved a previous resolution accepting ownership of 13810 S. Pricetown Road (state Route 534) north of Damascus, on which sits a vacant home, and then tabled the issue of accepting the property until after the new year. The action came after trustee chair Bob McCracken reported three parcels of land adjacent to the property were no longer available and the only interested buyers of the property were only willing to buy if the parcels were included.

McCracken reported last month the three parcels of land adjacent to the property, currently owned by a private company, were in foreclosure and would be turned over to the township once the foreclosure process was complete. The parcels could then be added to the property already turned over to the township.

However, the company began a payment plan for back taxes when threatened with foreclosure, McCracken said this week. The back taxes on the property total over $16,000, but would have been forgiven if the township took possession.

McCracken said in October an interested buyer owns the property on the other side of the parcels and would only consider buying the property turned over by the land bank if the township could secure the other parcels.

When originally accepting the property, trustees had planned to raze the home and clean up the property at a cost of $8,500, then sell it for the same cost. The home has been sitting empty for several years and the trustees viewed accepting ownership of the property the easiest way to clean it up.

McCracken and fellow trustee Rob Spencer both lost re-election bids to Shawn Mesler and John Bricker who will take over Jan. 1.

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