By Ed Runyan
Trumbull County will receive the entire $1.2 million allotted by the Ohio attorney general for blighted-home demolitions.
Warren will contribute $500,000, and the county’s land-bank program will give another $161,547.
The money will be used to demolish about 300 to 350 homes in Warren and Warren Township and another 100 in the rest of the county, county Treasurer Sam Lamancusa said Tuesday.
The nonprofit Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership has a lot of work to do until June 30 to prepare a demolition plan to submit to the attorney general’s office.
Matt Martin, program director for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, said Marissa Williams, recently hired as TNP’s community planning coordinator, will spend the remaining weeks of June trying to create a plan that maximizes the benefit of the demolition money.
The funds come from $75 million Attorney General Mike DeWine set aside from the state’s $335 million share of a $25 billion national mortgage settlement with the country’s five-largest mortgage companies over foreclosure abuse, fraud and improper practices.
Various county townships, cities and villages pledged $114,250 to provide the local share DeWine required. Warren officials still were considering last week what amount to give.
Williams was hired with funds from a $356,964 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant. The grant’s purpose is to help stabilize Warren’s neighborhoods, in part through strategic demolition.
Martin said that process will take two years, but the money through the attorney general requires a plan before then.
Among the strategies to be employed in Warren will be to target homes for demolition that are grouped together, Martin said.
Removing single houses at a time the way the city has done in the past has less impact than grouping, Martin said.
One area likely to receive attention is south of the city’s Jefferson K-8 public school building on Tod Avenue Southwest, Martin said. Most of the blighted and abandoned structures near there are in Warren Township, Martin and Lamancusa said. Lamancusa is chairman of the land bank.
Other areas to be targeted are the entrances to the city.
Each of the townships, cities and villages that contribute money to the program will receive at least double that amount back in demolitions, said Darlene St. George, Howland Township administrator and a member of the land bank’s board of directors.
The money the land bank is contributing comes from its share of delinquent property-tax collections, Lamancusa said.