Grant will help county address blight

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 31, 2007

Lawrence County’s landscape will soon be a little more attractive.

Cindy Anderson, community development director for the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said she expects to advertise for bids to demolish six to eight blighted houses throughout the county within the next two to three weeks. Actual work could start as early as November.

Anderson said the money is 2005 CDBG Formula funds that were originally allocated for demolition of flood-damaged homes. Not all of the $90,000 allotted for demolition of those homes was needed, so the rest of the money, approximately $70,000, will be used to demolish other abandoned or run-down structures. The federal dollars were given to the Lawrence County Commission and are administered through the CAO.

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“The county commissioners are dedicated to having a cleaner and healthier county and to getting rid of blighted properties,” Anderson said. “A lot of times these houses present a health hazard.”

The list of properties already approved for demolition are: 850 County Road 5, Ironton, 4678 State Route 141, Ironton, 787 County Road 59, Fayette Township, 7579 State Route 141, Lawrence Township, and 25 County Road 105, Kitts Hill.

Two additional houses could be torn down, but Anderson said officials are waiting on historical reviews of the property before adding them to the list.

CDBG monies are funds obtained from the federal government that must be used for stated, specific purposes. Such money can’t be, for instance, put in the county general fund and can’t be used for anything else.

A certain amount of money is set aside each year for the demolition of run-down houses and other nuisance structures. In the past, CDBG monies have been used to tear down the old Proctorville water tower and two storage tanks at The Point industrial park as well as old houses throughout the county.

In other matters, the commission Thursday agreed to advertise for sealed bids to sell seven unused sheriff’s office vehicles. The commission also discussed a request from a resident in Proctorville who wants to see some entity spray for mosquitoes.

The Commission also agreed to send letters to both the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Lawrence County Engineer’s Office, asking those agencies to investigate traffic problems at the intersection of State Route 217 and County Road 37 in Windsor Township. The intersection has been the site of several traffic accidents. Commissioners have asked those entities to consider flashing lights or other things to alert motorists driving through the area.

The commission also agreed to send a letter to Time Warner Cable Television Company, expressing its displeasure at the lack of Ohio State Buckeyes football games this fall. Time Warner does not have a network in its lineup that carries OSU games.