Ironton continues demolition efforts

Published 9:18 pm Saturday, December 6, 2008

The reduction in abandoned and vacant property in the city of Ironton as well as the elimination of properties contributing to slum and blight in neighborhoods is the primary basis for the current demolition program.

The city says it will not tolerate property owners allowing their properties to fall into such condition.

Thus far through the application of community Development Block Grants and City Council’s decision to appropriate funds to sustain a demolition program, the city believes it is making a positive impact on Ironton neighborhoods.

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When a structure is so old, dilapidated or has become so out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, insanitary or otherwise unfit for human habitation or occupancy, and such that it is unreasonable to repair the structure, an order to demolish and remove such a structure is issued to the owner of the property.

If the structure is capable of being made safe by repairs, the owner is ordered to repair and make safe and sanitary or to demolish and remove at the owner’s option.

Where there has been a cessation of normal construction of any structure for a period of more than two years, the owner is ordered to demolish and remove such structure.

A recent study conducted by Community Research Partners examined the incidence and costs of vacant and abandoned properties in Dayton, Lima, Springfield, Toledo, Zanesville, Columbus, Cleveland and Ironton. Of the eight cities, the total vacant residential buildings was 15,499 with 48 in Ironton. There were 9,908 vacant and abandoned lots, of which 131 were in Ironton.

The estimated costs to Ironton for the 2006 period studied was $273,072.

These were categorized as Enforcement staff $10,333, Demolition $22,185, grass and trash $6,560, fire and police runs $30,000 and tax loss $203,994.

With 4,906 households in Ironton this equates to $56 per year per household.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has worked in the House and Senate to preserve the Neighborhood Stabilization Program offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide much needed assistance to local governments to address vacant and abandoned properties.

Ohio has been awarded $116 million to disperse to cities across the state in the next eighteen months. Hopefully Ironton will be successful in obtaining its share of these funds to assist in the effort and commitment in addressing these properties.