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'Mow to Own' vacant lots in Ohio city

UPI News Service, 07/21/2011 

An Ohio city said its new Mow to Own program allows residents to mow vacant lots adjacent to their property with an aim to take ownership of the lots.

Sandusky officials said the city is losing money maintaining more than 100 delinquent lots that are no longer generating tax revenue, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Wednesday.

"On average, it probably costs us, the city, $250 each time we mow a lot. We have several that we are mowing on a regular basis and we mow them through the growing season, on average, twice a month," Sandusky Landbank Coordinator Amanda Meyers said.

Officials said the Mow to Own program gives residents credit for each time they mow grass on the vacant lots.

"We take the auditor's appraised value and subtract those closing costs from there as the down payment. And the rest of it will be in kind service of mowing and maintaining. So as long as they maintain that property for one to two years, that property becomes theirs," Meyers said.

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