City of Paducah to change how it handles foreclosed properties
PADUCAH, Ky. - Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle spoke with Mayor Gayle Kaler and City Commissioners about changes the Fire Prevention Division will make in its handling of foreclosed properties.
The primary change involves the city foreclosing on -- and buying -- properties it has issued liens against. The goal is then to "flip" the properties in an effort to recover money spent by the city on demolition and other fees.
The current order of operations is for code enforcement to inspect a foreclosed property and issue a fine if it is not up to code. If that fine is not paid, the city may place a lien against the property. Once demolition is needed, the city issues a demolition order and files additional liens.
After demolition, however, the city has continued to assume expenses and maintain the property, primarly by mowing. City Manager Jeff Pederson says the problem with this strategy is that the city does not actually own the property, meaning it can't sell it to recoup the money spent maintaining it.
“It doesn’t make sense for the city to slap liens and assume property expenses for long periods of time,” Pederson said.
Chief Kyle says the new process will involve the city foreclosing on properties it has placed liens against and buying them prior to demolition. He adds that while the city will own more properties, it can recover money by selling them.
“At the end of the day, if we end up with a lot of green space, we may end up with a development opportunity,” Kyle said.
Kyle also said he hopes the change will reduce unsafe structures and encourage reinvestment in properties around the city.
The Fire Prevention Division says there are 150 standing structures in Paducah that are in need of demolition. The cost of demolition, foreclosure and fees are estimated at close to $1.1 million.