The Ohio Land Bank Association, an organized voice for Ohio’s county land banks, met virtually in March with fellow county land bankers, municipal governments, community development groups and those interested in county land bank work. More than 100 participants joined the virtual meeting.
Discussion topics included new legislation pending before the Ohio House and Senate and the results of a recent Ohio Land Bank Association survey. Dan Cook, President of the Ohio Land Bank Development, LLC., gave an informative presentation on the use of solar panels on former Brownfield sites. Brian Larkin, Director of the National Land Bank Network at the Center for Community Progress, discussed the plans to organize a national land bank association and the recent signing into law of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. James Rokakis, a management consultant for the Ohio Land Bank Association, also provided an update on Ohio’s efforts to gain additional funding for demolition. The Ohio Land Bank Association was formed to support the work and advocate for all Ohio county land banks. With 59 of Ohio’s 88 counties having county land banks, a clear need exists for a statewide association to provide a collective, unified voice.