Detroit officials may seek property

August 2, 2012  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Township resident and declared candidate for supervisor Richard Sharland attended his second meeting in two weeks with City of Detroit officials.

The meetings came as a result of Sharland’s investigation of a property sale for back taxes by Wayne County. Plymouth Township purchased the land, known as the DeHoCo property for $606,000. Officials claimed they were buying 323 acres bordered by Napier, Beck, Five Mile and Ridge roads.

Sharland became curious about the property when his friend who was renting the land to farm told him it had been sold. He discovered that the township had not correctly split the property in a previous sale to a company called Demco 54. While Demco 54 purchased 133 acres of the land, the remaining 190-acres should have been on the tax rolls as still belonging to the City of Detroit. Rather, the entire parcel was listed as belonging to Demco 54. As the property was incorrectly identified, Demco 54 received tax bills on the entire 323 acres and when that company defaulted, Wayne County foreclosed and sold the property to the township.

Michigan State Law allows Detroit the right to seek to reclaim the property and recover monetary damages up to the actual current market value of the land, which is roughly estimated at $16 million.

Sharland first met with Detroit officials two weeks ago along with Beverly Kindle-Walker a legislative assistant to Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen. The first meeting included personnel from the Detroit Assessors Department, Planning and the city development and law departments along with committee chairperson Ken Cockrel, Jr. Cockrel asked for a written report on the situation but was told there had not been enough time to fully investigate the matter.

Tim Beckett, supervisor and assistant corporate counsel, told Detroit representatives last Wednesday that the report is incomplete but said he knows “the property is owned by the City of Detroit.”

Sharland said his impression of the meeting was that Detroit representatives would attempt to “work things out” with Plymouth Township rather than have to pursue legal redress.

“The attorney did seem confident that the City of Detroit would wind up with their property. He pointed out that there was are recorded deed and it was public record,” Sharland said.

The agenda item was tabled by the Detroit officials and will be rescheduled for the first meeting in September, Sharland added.


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