Williamsport City Council on Thursday approved at first reading the designation of the redevelopment authority as the land bank authority to improve economic conditions and eliminate the residential, commercial and industrial plague.

Under the state legislature, the land bank authority has what is called a “Trump auction” that allows the municipal authority to buy properties that are in default of tax or “submarine” As Mayor Derek Slaughter said.

The offer empowers the city’s redevelopment authority to acquire the property without further offers so that it can begin to address the lingering issues of the properties that are in a perpetual cycle of disrepair and identify “Lords of the slums” which let these properties languish.

The land reserve is another tool in the city’s toolkit and can work in concert with the devastated property review board committee by giving the city “the teeth” both legislative and monetary to attack these properties.

An example of how the land bank works was given as Pittston, where Slaughter said he met Mayor Michael Lombardo.

A management agreement or memorandum of understanding between city entities would take the next step after the vote.

The intention is never to move individuals but rather to keep people in their homes, Slaughter said.

City Councilor Liz Miele noted that it would be equally important to ensure not only that the land bank is financed with bailout funds, but also to ensure that the land bank and its acquisitions are properly put. implemented and are beneficial to the city and its taxpayers.

The vote was unanimous in the council.

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