Council to vote on Q3/JMC property

One of the biggest eyesores in town could soon be under the city’s possession if Urbana City Council, during its 6 p.m. meeting today in municipal court chambers, votes in favor of an ordinance accepting ownership – free of back taxes – of the former Q3/JMC Inc. property.

Located at 605 Miami St., the old manufacturing facility has been on the city’s radar for quite a while as a potential site for redevelopment, but acquiring the property, which has sat vacant since 2008, has not come easy.

In August 2015, city administration tried to obtain the property through the expedited foreclosure process, but Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi informed the Champaign County Board of Revisions it couldn’t legally go through with such a deal because the valuation of the property was too high in relation to the back taxes owed.

After the property went unsold during a sheriff’s sale in September 2015, Kerry Brugger, city director of administration, stated the city was still interested in acquiring the property only if the tax liability was waived and funding could be secured to clean up the site and redevelop it.

Following the failed attempt to sell the property, the Board of Revision agreed to forgo the back taxes and transfer the abandoned property to the city in September 2015.

In November 2015, the city announced it had secured the necessary funding to move forward with the Q3 JMC Redevelopment Project, contingent on an end user coming on board.

While pursuing interested parties, the facility was partially destroyed by a fire on Nov. 22, which was ruled an arson. Since the fire a year ago, the Champaign Economic Partnership and city officials have been working to find an end user.

As of Monday, no potential end users have been identified publicly as being interested in the property.

If council decides during today’s meeting to suspend the three-reading rule and pass on first reading the ordinance allowing Brugger to accept the Q3/JMC property from the Board of Revision, the city will take immediate ownership free of taxes after paying expenses related to the transfer (recording costs…etc.).

In other business:

•A resolution to appropriate money for several objects and purposes which the city must provide for fiscal year 2017 will undergo a second reading.

•Council will hear the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the director of administration to enter into an indigent defense agreement with the Champaign County commissioners to allow the city to receive partial reimbursement from the Ohio Public Defender Commission for indigent defense expense in Champaign County Municipal Court.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.