Youngstown seeks military’s help with demolition of houses
By David Skolnick
The city is seeking the assistance of the military to help with its blight problems.
“We’re requesting assistance from the Department of Defense to help with demolition of vacant houses and the removal of trash and brush,” Mayor John A. McNally said. “We’d be responsible for the abatement and dumping fees, but we’d receive free labor and equipment from the DOD.”
The city placed public notices in Monday’s and Tuesday’s editions of The Vindicator, a requirement before applying to be selected by federal DOD for its Innovative Readiness Training program. The application will be submitted later this week with the city finding out this summer if it is selected, McNally said.
If the DOD chooses Youngstown under this program, the work would be done in 2016.
“Demolition and blight and neighborhood cleanup are the biggest concern of citizens,” McNally said.
The city is proposing work at two locations, though the Newport/Cottage Grove area on the South Side is the top priority, the mayor said.
That area is bounded by Indianola Avenue to the north, Midlothian Boulevard to the south, South Avenue to the east and Glenwood Avenue to the west.
“We think it’s one of the top areas in the city that is in need of demolition,” McNally said.
The other location is the Upper North Heights area bounded by Gypsy Lane to the north, Broadway Avenue to the south, Logan Avenue to the east and Elm Street to the west.
The DOD program provides real-world training opportunities for service members and units to prepare them for wartime missions while supporting the needs of this nation’s underserved communities, according to its website.
If the city is chosen, it will compile a list of houses in those communities that are in need of demolition, McNally said.
The city has demolished about 3,000 houses since 2006. About 4,000 dilapidated structures remain in need of demolition.