EDC offers help in battle against blight

Apr. 09, 2014 @ 09:24 PM

The Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission has offered to support the county and city in an effort to sell vacant commercial properties.

“I thought it would be good if we brought it up and let both boards know we are interested in helping any way we can,” said Tom Church, interim chairman of the EDC board of directors. “Also to let you know that if you see anybody that we can help market those properties, especially with our committees that we have working on Raleigh Road and other areas. We would certainly like to be on the record as being willing to do whatever we can to see those properties move.”

At Wednesday’s EDC board of directors meeting, members voted to recommend the Henderson City Council follow the county in auctioning off foreclosure properties, as well as offering support to the county and city boards in the process.

The Vance County commissioners recently voted to auction county-owned, foreclosed properties. The commissioners are focusing on two structures: the abandoned N.C. National Guard Armory on Dabney Drive and the former school administration building on Church Street.

Rogers Realty and Auction has been chosen to auction the armory.

“With regard to vacant lots and that sort of thing, it will probably not be part of the process at this point in time,” said Terry Garrison, a county commissioner who also serves on the EDC board. “Although we are going through the foreclosure process and we are having some success in selling the lots, we have some abandoned lots we have not gotten to.”

Jim Kearney, a member of the city council, said he supported any efforts to remove abandoned properties.

“I have been a proponent of this as a means of reducing blight and we hope the city would engage in something similar to what the county has done. I’m not exactly certain what that is,” Kearney said. “But some method to move these properties and establish that at least a portion if not all the proceeds from those properties be put back in some way to reducing blight.”

Jerry Ayscue, Vance County manager, explained that there are two categories of foreclosure properties: those outside city limits and those within the city.

He said foreclosure properties outside the city, which are offered for public sale but not purchased, become county property.

However, he said, foreclosure properties inside the city that go through the same process are owned jointly by the county and city.

“I think both boards would welcome any assistance we can get with any of the properties,” Ayscue said.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.