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Posted: 07/03/13

Village eyeing three
properties up for sale

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Romeo is looking to flip some properties as a way of generating some extra revenue for its coffers.
       The Village Board of Trustees voted 6-0 on June 26 to purchase three parcels with the intent on selling them as part of a tax reversion process.
       Macomb County has the ability to take back properties for non-payment of taxes, but give communities the first right of refusal to purchase.
       The village is looking at three properties up for tax foreclosure that would cost $38,035. The first, located on Newcastle, is $1,762. The second is 32 Mile Road west of Powell Road for $32,039, and the third is on Croswell Street at $4,234.
       Outside of the meeting, Village President Mike Lee said the idea is to buy the properties so the village can turn around and sell them.
       "Now that property values are starting to creep up a bit, we can hold onto those properties as long as we want to or we can sell," Lee said.
       This is the second time in recent history the village has bought vacant property. Last year, the village purchased three vacant spots for about $16,000. Lee said the village is paying minimum taxes on the properties.
       To fund the purchases, the village is looking to use funds from its cable franchise fees. Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said the money should be available, but warned the board can't continually tap it because it still needs to pay tax tribunal settlements to the Ford Motor Company.
       "You've got your budget for your cable fund already set," she said.
       Lee said if the village makes any revenues on selling the property it would first go to replenishing the cable fund for the purchases.
       The village has until July 8 to notify the county, though Lee said he isn't sure if the properties will be available. Otherwise, he said all three properties must be purchased as a bundle from the county as opposed to individually.
       "If two are redeemed, we still have the possibility to buy one," he said. "They are lucrative endeavors."


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