County land Bank gets $500K to demolish buildings

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 7, 2022

COLUMBUS — Lawrence County’s Land Bank has gotten $500,000 from the State of Ohio’s latest round of demolition funding.

Lawrence County was one of 87 counties to get at least $500,000 in grants as part of the first phase of the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, which funds the demolition of dilapidated commercial and residential buildings and the revitalization of surrounding properties.

The grants come from $42.1 million in funding announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted late Friday afternoon.

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The goal is to help communities in nearly every Ohio county turn blighted properties into new opportunities that attract investment, business and jobs.

“There are vacant, decaying buildings all over the state that are nothing but eyesores, and it’s time for these structures to go,” said DeWine. “By investing to tear down these dangerous properties, we’re not only helping to transform the landscape of our communities, but we’re also clearing the way for redevelopment, more jobs and new opportunities for Ohio residents.”

The awards represent the total amount requested by each county up to its $500,000 set-aside. The program’s remaining funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to counties that applied for funding in excess of $500,000.

“These investments lead to revitalization at its finest,” said Husted. “It takes blighted properties that are a scar on the landscape of a community and turns them into parks, housing or thriving businesses.”

The Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program was created with the support of the Ohio General Assembly, which funded the program as part of the state biennium budget bill, House Bill 110. The program, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Development, is also part of the DeWine-Husted Administration’s strategic efforts to invest in Ohio’s future.

“With access to this funding communities can start on their projects and begin making room for future growth,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “Clearing blight and dilapidated structures helps pave the way for future economic development.”

The Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program is part of Governor DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings and more.