City of Titusville to Buy Dilapidated Home, Sale Upsets Many Residents
A planned property sale in the city of Titusville is the center of some controversy.
The city passed a resolution to buy the home located at 732 East Main street, for $70,000.
They’ll use money from unappropriated funds to purchase the home, and the plan is to demolish it.
Just nine years ago, the dilapidated home sold for $8,000, so it has led to many residents share their concerns on social media. Many people in Titusville are outraged, that the city is spending so much for the home, just to tear it down.
Facebook user, Janet McKenney says, it’s an “inexcusable use of city revenue!”
Ken Hartley agrees, “If they pay any number like they've indicated, approaching $70, 000, they're out of their mind.”
But the city says, while it’s more than they’d like to have to pay for the home and about a half acre of property, it's money well spent, to fight blight.
The home sits in the middle of Burgess Park, an area the city is working to rehabilitate, “Since it is an eyesore, we're totally renovating our ball park across the street, we're trying to get this end of town fixed up,” said Titusville City Manager Larry Manross.
There's speculation in Titusville, that the city could have waited, and bought the home at tax sale in September, for much less.
Manross tells us there are no delinquent taxes to the city. But Erie News Now uncovered there are thousands of dollars in delinquent taxes owed to Crawford County.
Despite back taxes to the county, Manross says the home would likely not go up for tax sale anytime soon, “In any event, it would not go up for tax sale because they could go over there and pay $100 on a payment plan and that would defer it for a year, next year they could do the same,
so the chance of that going up for tax sale is very, very small,” said Manross. “The city has purchased some blighted property that way (through tax sale), but the thing is anyone else could have also bought it, you would have to sit there and bid against a citizen, the city would never do that because we want a citizen to purchase that and fix it up, that would have never happened in this instance,” Manross continued.
And while many are concerned the city is spending way too much money on this deal, not all residents think it's a waste of their tax dollars, “I live across the street from it and it's a real eyesore,” said Ardelle Whitman. “They're doing so much renovation in our area, everything is starting to look so nice, they’re putting a new ball field in by our house, and I'm just tickled, I think it's going to be a great thing… I think it’s worth it to just get rid of it,” Whitman continued.