YOUNGSTOWN — City administrators want to pay $39,000 to a college senior, with 10 months’ experience as an intern in Youngstown’s planning department, to develop and implement a plan to “deconstruct” dilapidated houses rather than just demolish them.
The city received a $39,000 grant from the state Environmental Protection Agency for the program. Steve Novotny, the 24-year-old Youngstown State University student to be hired as an independent contractor, wrote the successful grant application for the money.
Rather than using a wrecking ball to demolish a house, deconstruction is a technique to systematically take apart a structure by removing portions of it — such as wooden floors, copper piping or chunks of bricks — that is salvaged and then sold.
City council is to consider legislation to hire Novotny at its Nov. 18 meeting.
Besides writing the grant, Notovy has worked for the city through an internship for the past 10 months, and helped to deconstruct a house on Brentwood Avenue, one of two vacant structures taken down this summer using that process. The other house was on Illinois Avenue.
“I’ve gone through 10 months making the necessary contacts and doing the work and talking with the demolition guys as to what works,” Novotny said. “Quite frankly, it’s a new industry. I don’t know of anyone else who’s done what I have done.”
The concept includes selling the usable materials, which hopefully covers the additional costs and diverts those items from landfills.
For the complete story, read Saturday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com