TNP, county renew contract

WARREN – Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership has renewed its contract to manage the Trumbull County Land Bank for another three years, effective Oct. 1.

TNP has been contracted with the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp. almost since the land bank initiative began four years ago.

Trumbull was the third county in Ohio, following Cuyahoga and Lucas, to form a land bank. Trumbull County Treasurer Sam Lamancusa initially operated the land bank out of the county offices, but after working with TNP on various projects, Lamancusa and the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp. board agreed to contract with the nonprofit organization to operate the land bank.

Today, four of eight full-time TNP employees work on land bank programs on a full-time basis. The other four TNP employees have projects that often touch some aspect of the land bank, according to TNP Executive Director Matt Martin. He said more than half of TNP’s operations are connected with the land bank program.

The original contract was signed in 2013 and was extended earlier this year.

“There was some delay in signing a new contract due to the land bank’s board revising some of its policies,” Martin said.

Under its contract, TNP earns $12,500 per month to do all land bank related services.

“Over our first three years, TNP has raised $11.2 million for demolition and rehabilitation of properties in Trumbull County,” Martin said. “It has contracted for the demolition of 250 properties, was involved in the fixing up of 175 houses, and sold 453 sidelot properties.”

“While most of the demolitions have been in Warren, we are expanding our work to other Trumbull County communities, including Niles, Girard and Howland,” Martin said.

Over the next several years, TNP will be doing more work in the demolition program, and, whenever possible, attempt to get new companies into commercial properties under the land bank program.

“TNP has been our go-to organization since before they signed a contract with the TCLRC, ” Lamancusa said. “This new contract provides assurance that all of the successful programs that have been established over the last three-and-a-half years continue uninterrupted.”

Lamancusa said the county land bank has been so successful that other communities have approached him and TNP to learn how to copy their program.

Martin said TNP receives the vast majority of its land bank properties through foreclosures, but sometimes banks will turn over properties, and sometimes property owners will sign over their properties to the land bank because they no longer have the ability or desire to maintain it.