Archived Story

County could see funds for demolition

Published 11:47am Friday, December 26, 2008

Lawrence is one of a half a dozen southern counties that may share $1.2 million to compensate for some ill-effects of the housing market crisis.

Ralph Kline, assistant director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, told the Lawrence County Commission Tuesday that this money is part of $28 million given to the state of Ohio by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a neighborhood stabilization program.

Most of that money went to the state’s largest cities, where the number of foreclosures has increased the number of houses setting empty.

But Kline pointed out that many of the empty properties in Lawrence County have less to do with the national crisis and more to do with abandoned or blighted houses and tax forclosures.

“If we could get them taken care of …” Kline told the commission.

Right now both the county and city of Ironton set aside monies each year to pay for the demolition of blighted structures. Much of this money comes from the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

Local officials will attend a meeting Tuesday in Jackson to discuss how this $1.2 million can be spent and which of the southern counties eligible to share the funds will want to do so.

The counties that may share the money are, in addition to Lawrence, Scioto, Gallia, Jackson, Meigs and Vinton counties.

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