Mayor Kapszukiewicz Testifies on House Bill 252

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

COLUMBUS – Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, vice chairman of the Lucas County Land Bank, testified today before the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee in support of House Bill 252, which creates a $50 million fund in Ohio to help land banks cleanup blighted buildings, including old industrial and commercial properties.

“This legislation will create jobs and strengthen neighborhoods throughout Ohio, including in Toledo,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “In 2010, the Lucas County Land Bank was the second county land bank to form in Ohio. Times were much bleaker then. The Great Recession and the foreclosure crisis had hit Ohio hard and Toledo and Lucas County were not spared. Thousands and thousands of abandoned properties riddled our neighborhoods. Not just abandoned houses, but abandoned industrial hulks and commercial buildings too.”

The Lucas County Land Bank has helped take control of more than 6,000 abandoned properties. Of those 3,600 of the worst were razed, 700 were redeveloped, and 1,500 side lots were transferred to neighbors.

“We’ve done this by leveraging more than $50 million of private and public investment,” the mayor said. “In almost every neighborhood in Toledo, and every community in Lucas County, the Land Bank has made a lasting impact. House Bill 252 will create jobs by demolishing sites that will never be redeveloped while the dirty, empty, and obsolete buildings of the past remain. We estimate that there are at least 300 of these abandoned commercial buildings in just Toledo alone.”

Mayor Kapszukiewicz said House Bill 252 is a cost-effective solution.

“It’s not a free ride for places like Toledo,” he said. “We have to put up real money to match your dollars and I am confident that we will if you help us by taking the first step and passing this bill.”