Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
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Hernando commissioners create registry to clean up foreclosures

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Published:   |   Updated: April 23, 2014 at 03:02 PM

— County Commissioner Diane Rowden said she drives through parts of Spring Hill and has noticed many homes in deteriorating condition.

Many are foreclosed, vacant and an eyesore, Rowden said.

Her colleagues agree and on Tuesday, the board took a step to either get these properties repaired or torn down. They voted 5-0 to pass an ordinance creating a foreclosure registry that will give the building department another tool to keep the neighborhood clean and safe.

The new ordinance means the mortgage holders of these homes will be tracked down and be required to register the property with code enforcement, which will assign a property manager to that home.

The county will do periodic inspections on the registered homes to make sure they are being maintained. If not, the county will take steps to enforce the codes.

Commissioner Nick Nicholson said neighbors will be the “eyes and ears” for the county and urged them to call the building department if they see a deteriorating home or know of a vacant foreclosed property.

Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes said the registry is an example of Hernando County being “proactive rather than reactive.”

Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta said he would update the board in six months on the success of the registry program.

The foreclosure registry program pertains to all abandoned and vacant properties determined by the mortgage holder (which could be the bank) to be in default.

Once the property is so determined, the owner will pay a $200 annual registration fee, which will go into the county’s coffers.

Also Tuesday:

♦ Commissioners agreed to hold a public hearing sometime before Oct. 1 to discuss an amended ordinance allowing the county to fund mosquito control through a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) and remove the millage cap, effective for fiscal year 2014-15.

Voters in November 2012 overwhelmingly approved a referendum allowing the county to create an MSTU for mosquito control, setting a cap of 1⁄10 of a mill.

By removing that cap, funding would come from the millage rate with no need to be subsidized by the general fund, as it is now.

The city of Brooksville would then have to re-instate its ordinance to opt into the MSTU. Failure to do so would mean no mosquito control service within the city limits.

The city of Brooksville has not been receiving mosquito spraying because Assistant County Administrator of Budget and Business Development George Zoettlein said it did not pay its share of the tax bill, totaling $15,214. City officials maintain there is no bill to pay.

♦ Commissioners agreed to give $180,000 in incentives to Micro Matic USA, a manufacturer of industrial beverage dispensing equipment with a U.S. headquarters at the Brooksville — Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

The company has decided to remain in its 75,000-square-foot facility and build an additional $3 million, 40,000-square-foot plant on a separate site within the airport’s adjacent technology center.

Micro Matic plans to keep its existing 135-person workforce at the Brooksville location and hire 15 full-time workers during a three-year period with an average annual wage of $34,911.

Hernando County will award a jobs creation grant up to $45,000 to Micro Matic in annual installments for each phase of the expansion project.

The county will also pay out $135,000 based upon jobs retained to be paid in two annual installments.

mbates@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5290

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