Ohio AG grants to fund eyesore demolition

Published 11:05 am Thursday, October 24, 2013

With just over 10 percent of the almost quarter of a million dollars available already spent, Lawrence County continues to target eyesores and dilapidated structures for demolition.

Through Ohio Attorney General’s Demolition Grant Program that began in 2012, Lawrence County was allotted $223,447 in reimbursements for tearing down substandard structures. So far $27,644.94 has been spent, according to a spokesman with the attorney general’s office.

The state program by using funds from the National Mortgage Settlement pays for counties’ cost to rid its neighborhoods of eyesores.

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine earmarked $75 million for the program resulting in 6,002 properties being torn down across the state, including 2,581 in Cuyahoga County, 559 in Lucas County and 455 in Summit County. Only three counties — Fulton, Mercer and Pickaway — have used all their allotment, which expires on May 31, 2014.

“Some of (the county’s) allotment is outstanding where the money hasn’t been cut to the people who have demolished buildings,” Lawrence County Commission President Bill Pratt said.

Among the targeted structures is a former motel on County Road 1 where demolition costs are expected to reach $65,000.

“It hasn’t been torn down,” Pratt said. “The money hasn’t been spent. The job has been bid out and awarded.”

Pratt, who anticipates the county will use its entire allotment, would like to see houses and abandoned buildings along Rockwood Avenue in Chesapeake and Bradrick area on the list of targeted structures..

“We were anticipating an extension and a reallocation of funds,” he said. “There is an outside chance Lawrence County will get even more money.”