The Leelanau County Land Bank Authority is one of 34 entities statewide awarded a piece of $15 million in funding for demolition projects in their communities. Trudy Galla, Leelanau's planning director and director of the Brownfield Development Authority, says the county received its full grant request of $58,500. Galla says two sites potentially targeted for demolition and clean-up are owned by the authority after being acquired through tax foreclosure. A third property is located in the Village of Empire and currently involved in a lawsuit.
Funding for these awards comes from a March 2012 settlement reached by 49 state attorneys general, including Michigan's Bill Schuette, following a lawsuit over mortgage foreclosure practices. Of Michigan's $97.2 million share, the state legislature allocated $25 million to the creation of a Blight Elimination Program, $10 million of which was specifically allocated to the City of Detroit.