LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville officials are celebrating what they say is a record-breaking year of returning vacant properties to productive use. 

According to a news release from the office of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the city closed on the sales of 125 vacant properties during the 2017-18 fiscal year (ending June 30).

This represents an increase of 330 percent over the previous fiscal year.  Only 29 sales were made in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Officials say the increase is due to new sales programs introduced in Oct. 2017, such as Last Look and Cut It Keep It, as well as a new Flex Rate policy. 

In a statement, Fischer said the sales increase was, "the result of innovative ideas, a hard-working city staff and engaged community members."

"Vacant and abandoned properties are an immense burden to our city -- then often become havens for crime and they reduce neighboring property values," he added. "Each sale represents a win for neighbors and for public safety."

According to statistics collected by the city, there are about 5,100 abandoned properties in Louisville. The Landmark Authority owns about 500 of those properties, and the other 4,600 are in the hands of private property owners.

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