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Missouri House approves Springfield land bank proposal, measure heads to Senate

(KY3)
Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 11:03 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri House of Representatives has approved legislation that would allow Springfield city leaders to establish a land bank.

Rep. Bill Owen (R-Springfield) introduced HB 563 in January. It comes as some of the condemned homes in Springfield are then being turned around and sold to people who can’t actually afford to restore them.

The proposal calls to extend current provisions in law allowing “home-rule” cities to establish land bank agencies. Owen says these agencies are created with the purpose of assembling, managing, and/or disposing of vacant land in order to help stabilize neighborhoods and encourage the redevelopment of the area.

“This is part of an integral and innovative effort that the City of Springfield is undertaking to rehabilitate our heritage neighborhoods. In short, the whole point is to give our community the power to renew and improve,” Rep. Owen, R-Springfield, said. “The benefits of this legislation will not only be good for our community, but will set a precedent that other cities across state that I believe can truly have a significant effect in growing a better Missouri.”

St. Louis, St. Joseph and Kansas City all have land banks because their population size is included. The bill asks that Springfield be included in those population ranges.

The Missouri House read the legislation on April 8, passing the measure by a vote of 132-18. The bill now heads to the Missouri Senate for consideration.

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