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Land bank can aid county

Getting a piece of 180 million dollars could go a long way to helping Lawrence County. That is a potential opportunity the county has for creating its first ever land bank.

This past week, the Lawrence County Commission created the Lawrence County Land Revitalization Corporation. The idea is to see if the county can get a piece of those millions of dollars that, so far, 31 of the 84 counties have already applied for.

With a land bank the county can acquire property that has turned into eyesores, whether from owner neglect or the owner abandoning the property and moving away.

Either way it diminishes the value of other properties in the county and makes the county less desirable than it should be.

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burcham would head up the land bank board that would also include two county commissioners, the Ironton mayor and an Upper Township Trustee. The latter two are to be on the board because they head up the largest city and the largest township in the county.

Burcham has publicly said the land bank is in no way set up to deprive someone of his or her property. The land bank can acquire property in a variety of ways and can either demolish the eyesore or rehabilitate it, if it can.

Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith supports the bank as she understands her city has a number of properties that either need to be torn down or rehabilitiated, like the Brumberg building or the former location of Hampton Law Offices.

Now it is up to the commission to keep the momentum going. Ironton and the county need it. They certainly deserve it.