- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kenton County officials are considering a pilot program to help get rid of abandoned properties in northern Kentucky.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1N1YV1m) that the county is considering selling such properties in Latonia Lakes to neighbors, after foreclosing on them.

Covington, Kentucky, has a similar program called the Covington Community Development Initiative that it started last year.

By December, the city had agreements with nine so-called “community developers” to purchase 18 abandoned or vacant properties.

J. Christian Dennery is a Covington city attorney. He says some of the purchasers are residents, while others are residential real estate developers or community organizations that want to create development hot-spots in the city.

The Kenton County Attorney’s Office recently prepared a presentation for Kenton Fiscal Court.

The idea is to have the county attorney’s office foreclose on abandoned properties with delinquent tax liens when a neighbor is willing to accept ownership of a property. The up-front cost to the county would be about $2,000 per parcel. After the foreclosure, the county would sell the property to the neighbor at an agreed-upon price.

Currently the county has 43 such “unimproved” parcels, consisting of 15 structures or homes and 28 empty lots, said Susan Topmiller, a spokeswoman for the Kenton County Attorney’s Office.

“Many of these properties have unpaid taxes,” said Kenton County Attorney Stacy Tapke. “If we foreclose, the county could end up owning the property. You want to make sure there’s some party that would be interested in buying the property. We are working with the idea of identifying potential buyers.”

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

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