JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Legislation to establish a land bank in St. Joseph will become law as Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs the bill at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at the St. Joseph City Hall. The non-profit redevelopment agency authorized by House Bill 821 will allow the city of St. Joseph to better address abandoned buildings and blighted neighborhoods.
The St. Joseph Land Bank is modeled after similar non-profits in Kansas City and St. Louis. The land bank will acquire derelict and abandoned properties through tax auctions or donations and return them to productivity. Vacant buildings and empty lots could either be put to public use or sold to individuals or groups that would renovate or develop the properties.
The legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Missouri State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville. “Land banks are a proven approach for the rehabilitation of neglected urban areas,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “The St. Joseph community is committed to addressing blight and the land bank will encourage infusions of capital and a new spirit of enterprise to this proud, historic community, while also reducing crime.”
The legislation was a top legislative priority for the City of St. Joseph and the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce.
“This is something that St. Joseph has been trying to pass for several years, and it will be very important to the revitalization of our older neighborhoods,” said Patt Lilly, president and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.
Bill McMurray, mayor of St. Joseph added, “The land bank is going to be a tremendous help to us with the number of properties that we certainly need to get control of. This will enable the city to take a huge step into the future and deal with some of these property problems that have been plaguing our city for decades.”
The authorization for the St. Joseph Land Bank will be effective August 28, 2019.