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Parsons offers land transfer program - KOAM TV 7

Parsons offers land transfer program

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PARSONS, KANSAS -

A new program in Parsons is turning over the care of many of the city-owned empty lots to adjacent land-owners.

Because the population in Parsons has steadily shrunk, the city has more land than it needs to maintain. The solution: their new land transfer program. Now, lots adjacent to current homeowners are available to them.

Charles Gross Sr. is the new owner of a previously owned city lot next door to a home that he owns.

"When I seen it in the paper, I wanted to make sure it was mine. They said it would be free property so I just wanted to go and make sure that it would be mine and it wouldn't be anybody else's," Gross said.

Gross is the first resident in Parsons to take advantage of the new free land program, an incentive by the city to alleviate some of the financial and labor pressures on the city for maintaining their unused lots.

"We own roughly 75 lots that are free and clear of taxes and leans. What we want to do is one, get them back on the tax rolls. Two, provide an opportunity for our community, and three, relive ourselves. The city has to mow these lots so that's an awful lot of time," city economic development director Jim Zaleski said.

The city is hopeful that with land-owners taking over the care of these empty lots that city departments can spend more time beautifying existing parks and city-owned property.

"It's a win-win situation. The city gets it back on its tax rolls, a vacant lot isn't going to be that much additional but still back on the tax rolls. And it's no longer a mowing headache for the city. So it's really going to be a community win," Zaleski said.

Zaleski says the city will ask those buying the lots that when it comes time to sell their property, they sell it as one big bundle. The city will even cover the quick deed cost to get the ownership transferred.

"Oh it's a great advantage, it's like I own half the block," Gross said.

Contact the city if a lot is adjacent to your home to see who owns the lot.

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