Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Alex Ross 

Vacant properties committee meeting Tuesday


February 26, 2018

Havre City Council’s Vacant Properties Ad Hoc Committee will meet Tuesday to discuss how next to move forward with addressing the issue of blight caused by vacant derelict properties within the city.

City Council Member Caleb Hutchins, who also sits on the five-member committee, said in a Facebook instant message conversation Sunday that the meeting will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Havre Hill-County Library.

The committee was established by Mayor Tim Solomon at the urging of City Council President Andrew Brekke last May, after Montana State University-Northern grant writer Samantha Clawson, who owns a home in Havre with Hutchins, her husband, and also sits on the committee, asked the city to consider creating a vacant property registry ordinance, or VPRO, to address the issue of derelict vacant properties.

The Committee’s other members are Dr. Marc Whitacre, an ophthalmologist at Northern Montana Hospital; state Rep. Jacob Bachmeier, D-Havre, and Jim Bennett, executive director of the Montana State University-Northern Alumni Foundation.

A VPRO would require owners of vacant properties to register with the city. A registry of information of owners and vacant and foreclosed properties would be maintained and be available to the public and likely posted on a website. It could also require buyers of vacant properties to have a timeline and plan to rehabilitate their properties.

Hutchins said that after the committee’s last meeting in October, he compiled a list of features that the committee was interested in seeing in a VPRO. The committee, he said, will discuss those details and work towards a consensus among the group about what they believe will work for Havre.


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