Janesville63.7°

Janesville looking to buy delinquent properties

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
September 20, 2011
— The city of Janesville proposes to spend about $50,000 to buy five tax-foreclosed properties and continue its neighborhood revitalization efforts.

The Janesville Plan Commission recommended Monday night that the city buy the properties. The issue advances to the city council next week.


Under the Rock County Tax Foreclosure Program, the city has the first chance to buy a property because of unpaid property taxes.


The city is not allowed to do interior inspections of the homes, so their conditions are unknown. The homes eventually would be demolished or rehabilitated and resold.


The county charges the city the amount of outstanding taxes, special assessments, interest on taxes and closing costs. The money comes from neighborhood and downtown blight elimination funds borrowed in 2009 and 2010.


The city has become more aggressive in improving housing stock since 2008. It has borrowed money and also received stimulus money.


Since 2008, 24 properties have been purchased by the city, predominately in inner city neighborhoods.


One of those properties was rehabilitated and resold under the city's Buy, Rehab and Resell program. Three homes were fixed up and listed for sale in late August, and another four are in the process. Thirteen have been demolished, and the remaining are either waiting demolition or rehabilitation.


The city has purchased four homes under the tax-foreclosure program the last two years.


Five properties are facing tax-foreclosure:


-- 324 W. Racine St. is a single-family home built in about 1890. It is a contributing structure in the Old Fourth Ward Historic District. The 1,481-square-foot-home has three bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. Delinquent taxes, interest, closing costs, and special assessments or charges total $9,314, with $2,138 returned to the city for delinquent special assessments. Neighborhood services several times this summer ordered the owner to remove exterior trash and debris.


-- 320 Cherry St. is a single-family home built in about 1880 and is a contributing structure in the Old Fourth Ward Historic District. The 1,548-square-foot-home has three bedrooms and two baths. Money owed totals $7,883, with $1,767 returned to the city. Neighborhood services sent orders to remove exterior trash and debris earlier this year.


-- 459 S. Ringold St. is a single-family residence built about 1900. It has 1,183 square feet, three bedrooms and a bath. The owner owes $10,923, and $1,023 would be returned to the city. Neighborhood services ordered the home vacated in March for interior structure sanitation issues.


-- 627 Rockport Road is a single-family residential home built in about 1929. It is a contributing structure in the Old Fourth Ward Historic District. The 1,434-square-foot-home has four bedrooms and two baths. The delinquent bill is $13,227, and $2,957 would be returned to the city. There is no record of property maintenance violations.


-- 266 Riverside Drive is a single-family home built about 1900. It is a contributing structure in the Old Fourth Ward Historic District. The 742-square-foot home has one bedroom and one bath. The owner owes $8,249, with $1,411 returned to the city. Neighborhood services ordered the property vacated in July because it had no utilities, a bad roof and interior structural and sanitation problems.



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