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Group trims list of government land to return to private owners

A city-county authority charged with putting unused government-owned property back on the tax books will take a closer look at some of those properties.

The Thomson/McDuffie Land Bank Authority met March 10 at Thomson City Hall and checked a list of about 200 parcels owned by city, county, schools, the development authority and other government units.

It was determined that most parcels met current or potential governmental needs, and they were scratched off the list for further attention.

Many parcels, though, will be mapped for attention at the 2 p.m. April 14 meeting.

The properties came into government possession through purchase, gifts, tax defaults or other means. The authority's mission is to transfer property back into private hands when possible so that it becomes taxable again.

"It's been very interesting to see where the property is and the situation," said Kelly Evans, a board member, who gathered the list and who will assist with mapping the parcels.

Dot Knox, the chairwoman of the authority, said the group will adopt bylaws and procedures at the April meeting.

The city already has donated one parcel to the authority, but the authority has yet to take title.

Several officials have said the authority will be selective about which parcels it accepts. Some might carry cleanup costs that would make them unsuitable for development.

The city and the county each approved $5,000 in startup costs. Some of that money might be used to hire an attorney to help prepare bylaws.

Web posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

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