CANTON: In the year since a city law took effect to hold banks responsible for maintaining foreclosed properties, no enforcement has taken place.
Canton Councilman Kevin Fisher said Monday night that he was aware of only one property — the house in which he grew up — that was tested with the procedure as a pilot project.
In an effort to make enforcement a reality, the City Council on Monday amended the original ordinance in ways intended to close loopholes.
The amendment should make it possible to force a mortgage servicing company to mow grass at an abandoned property, Fisher said.
A gap in the original ordinance created the possibility that a property which had been threatened with foreclosure might not be covered if the homeowners moved away before a lawsuit was filed.
Parties responsible for abandoned properties are to be required to post a $10,000 bond to cover the city’s costs, including potential demolition.
The changes are modeled after Youngstown’s foreclosure ordinance, which Fisher said has been instrumental in helping that city collect $600,000.
Enforcement has been transferred from the Building Department to Fair Housing, a move Fisher believes will lead to more action.
In other business Monday, the council transferred to Case Farms a tax break that was originally given to Park Farms.
The deal gives the poultry producer half the 2 percent income tax paid by employees for three years retroactive to Jan. 1.
Case Farms bought Park Farms in 2012.
The tax rebate is estimated at $75,000 a year, according to the administration.