Source: Sherman Publications

Township purchases foreclosed land, eyes for park use

by Susan Bromley

July 31, 2013

Brandon Twp.- The township board unanimously approved the purchase of two parcels of property on Hadley Road during a special July 22 meeting.

While the board has not reached any decision on what they will do with the land, the adjoining properties were attractive due to their size, 4.16 acres and 4.24 acres; price of about $4,500 each; and location, which is across from the Brandon Township Community Park, 1414 N. Hadley Road.

“If we were to expand the park in the future, the property would be much more costly,” said Supervisor Kathy Thurman. “If we decide we don’t want to use these parcels, we would have the option of selling. There is the possibility of expanding the park, we haven’t made any decisions. (The parcels) could be used for all kinds of things... It’s good land.”

The Hadley parcels have an assessed value of $20,820 and $20,980 respectively.

The property was offered to the township to purchase by Oakland County Treasurer Andrew Meisner. The properties were foreclosed on and the purchase price is determined by the amount of delinquent back taxes owed.

Every year, municipalities are offered the first opportunity to purchase foreclosed properties for the amount owed in back taxes. This year, the township was offered the opportunity to purchase 16 property parcels, much higher than the average of 3-4 properties.

While most are declined due to location and land conditions, the township is eyeing a third parcel this year. The property at 1076 LeGault has been seized by the county for nearly $46,000 in delinquent taxes. This is the same 3-acre parcel that raised the ire of neighbors and township officials for several years. The previous owner began building a home on the property but never completed it and the unfinished home, as well as a quonset hut on the property presented eyesores until the township finally won a court order to have the structures demolished.

“We spent $19,000 in demolition costs that we would like to recover,” said Thurman of why the township is interested in the property. “It may require that we purchase the property and resell it, but we’ll make that decision in September.”

The LeGault property has an assessed value of $20,810. The township board has decided to not purchase this property yet and Thurman explains that if no one bids on the property at the August sale, it will be available at the October tax sale.

“If it goes to the October sale and sells for less, the county would make us responsible for what wasn’t paid (in owed back taxes),” Thurman said.

“Our chances of finding a buyer wanting to pay closer to what is owed is better working with a real estate agency rather than letting it go through the October tax sale.”