Auto Parkit faces foreclosure threat
WARREN — The Trumbull County Treasurer’s Office has issued letters to Christopher Alan, owner of Auto Parkit, advising him of about $404,000 the company owes in back property taxes on his Dana Street facilities.
Auto Parkit is the company that Alan, a Warren native, has brought to the former Packard Electric and General Electric buildings on Dana Street. He bought the Packard buildings out of bankruptcy after the former owner failed to pay the taxes. Alan agreed to pay them as part of his purchase.
Alan took ownership of the Packard facilities about a year ago.
The letters advise Alan’s Raiders Trading Limited and Dorian Capital companies that under Ohio law the treasurer’s office is “required to bring foreclosure action against you” over the unpaid taxes.
The Sept. 11 letters state someone should contact the treasurer’s office within 15 days to pay the amounts or work out a payment plan.
Michael Robinson, deputy county treasurer, said Thursday the letters, which a third-party vendor sends out, are part of a process meant to ensure that property owners are aware of taxes owed and to prompt them to begin to pay them.
Robinson said he doesn’t know whether Treasurer Sam Lamancusa has discussed a repayment plan with Alan, but the letters were necessary because no one from Alan’s companies responded to a mailing asking for taxes to be paid by March 1 and a second one asking for them to be paid by Aug. 2.
Attempts to contact Alan on Thursday were unsuccessful.
“This is normal procedure. It’s a letter to ask them to speak to an investigator,” Robinson said. “What we’re trying to do is get them on a payment plan.”
Robinson explained that a payment plan allows the owner of a home or commercial property to have all penalties and interest waived and later forgiven if the owner completes the payment plan.
Robinson admits the letters can look threatening because they include a copy of the bill that has the red-stamped words “foreclosure pending” on them, but that is just a way to get the property owner’s attention.
Meanwhile, Warren City Council is going to further discuss whether to allow Alan to continue to prevent public access to parts of Dana Street at a 5 p.m. meeting Tuesday.
Last week, Alan told council he has invested about $4 million in Dana Street facilities since 2016, and the barriers his company installed near his facilities help stop vandalism, which he says has been a serious problem.
“I am asking you to help me protect the investment I have made,” he said last week. “You stick with me, and I will stick with you.”