Oak Ridge is now accepting applications from residents who want to serve on the board of directors of the new Oak Ridge Land Bank Corp.
The board will have seven directors, and one of those will be an Oak Ridge City Council member. All directors must be residents and taxpayers in the City of Oak Ridge, a press release said. Preference may be given for applicants in the following fields: banking, real estate, and legal.
Interested residents must complete a Boards and Commissions application and may attach additional documents that include cover letters, references, and resumes.
The terms of office for the initial appointments are as follows: three directors shall serve through Dec. 31, 2014, and three will serve through Dec. 31, 2015. After that, each term will be two years, with terms starting Jan. 1. The City Council representative shall serve until the end of his or her City Council term, the release said.
More information regarding the required expertise will be published following the Nov 11 City Council meeting, when Council will establish qualification preferences for the board, establish goals and objectives for the Land Bank Corp., and prioritize the disposition of properties held in the Land Bank, the release said.
For convenience, an online application has been created and is available on the City Clerk’s departmental website or by visiting www.oakridgetn.gov/online/cityclerk/bcelections. Paper applications are also available in the City Clerk’s Office located in Room Number 109 in the Municipal Building.
To be considered, completed applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2. Late applications or submissions will not be considered.
The election for this board will also take place at a special meeting of the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday, Dec. 16.
The land bank is the first of its kind in Tennessee. It was established by an ordinance approved by the Oak Ridge City Council in September.
The concept of a land bank first began in 2011 when City Manager Mark Watson introduced the “Not in Our City” conceptual plan to address several issues facing Oak Ridge, one of which pertaining to blighted housing. The “Not in Our City” conceptual plan was adopted by the City Council later in 2011.
A land bank is a tool that will be used by the city to support economic revitalization through returning vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties to productive use.
“Addressing blighted housing that impacts neighborhoods and property values in the City of Oak Ridge is now a priority for this city government,” Watson said. “By using the authority that the Land Bank Corp. possesses, the city will have a modernized, expeditious means of reactivating impacted properties. It will be exciting to see the transformations that takes place in our neighborhoods knowing that a small group of involved citizens had a hand in bettering our housing stock and community.”
For more information, contact Diana Stanley, City Clerk, at (865) 425-3411 or by e-mail at [email protected].