Jacksonville to Benefit from ARPA Funds Sent to Two Rivers Land Bank

By Jeremy Coumbes on September 21, 2022 at 3:32pm

The Two Rivers Land Bank got a boost from the City of Jacksonville last week that will help to mitigate vacant and blighted properties.

The Jacksonville City Council approved a request by the city’s Director of Community Development Brian Nyberg for $200,000.00 in funds to be put into the land bank.

The money going into the land bank is a portion of the more than $2 million in American Rescue Plan Funding that was awarded to the city by the federal government last summer.

Nyberg says the increased funding heading into the Two Rivers land bank is a big win for both the city and Morgan County. “The purpose of the land bank is to help cities and municipalities and counties deal with the vacant and abandoned properties that we have. And we all have them, it’s not just Jacksonville, I mean it’s everywhere.

In Jacksonville that has been my top priority to help clean up and do something with these vacant and abandoned properties, and the main goal is to get with them before they need to be demolished and back on the tax rolls. Which would be good for the city for the county.

The payments that go for your property taxes, that umbrella, goes for schools, it goes for the police department, fire department, all of the things under that property tax umbrella. So this is a win for the city and the county.”

Nyberg says that even though the land bank is shared between Jacksonville, Quincy, Morgan, and Adams Counties, any money put into the land bank by the city, stays in Jacksonville. “That will go into the land bank and pay for the method to get clear title from these properties that have delinquent taxes. They have liens on them. There has actually been a few properties we’ve had gifted so that makes that process even better and that money from those properties will go back into the land bank.

It starts with attorney fees and it goes to clearing out the liens and settling any judgments, any delinquent property taxes. A lot of the properties we look at are already going through the tax abatement process, and that’s actually this month. So we do have a few properties that we have interceded with the property tax redemption.”

Nyberg says the land bank is also getting a boost from state funding as well. “The Illinois Housing Development Authority has already paid for a lot of what attorneys are doing for land banks. And they just signed on for another two years to pay for a lot of the stuff we are doing through the land bank.

So good things are happening. Look for multiple properties to be on the land bank website. That should be happening very quickly. There’s already a couple of properties on there from Quincy that were donated to the City of Quincy, and we will have the same thing coming up very shortly.”

More information about the Two Rivers Land Bank including properties available for sale can be found at www.trlba.org.