State gives Trumbull land bank millions for demos

Staff report

Ohio’s Demolition and Site Revitalization Program has approved $7,212,585 for 181 projects under the auspices of the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation, or land bank.

The great majority of the demolition awards are in Warren.

Numbers of residential or commercial projects in other communities are: Brookfield, 1; Cortland, 4; Girard, 1; Liberty, 3; McDonald, 1; Newton Township, 1; Niles, 2; Vernon, 2; Warren Township, 3; Weathersfield, 1; and West Farmington, 1.

Ashley Yuhasz, demolition and brownfield administrator for the Trumbull County Land Bank, said the county applied for the funding in March and got the entire amount requested. She said the land bank had to submit a proposed budget for each site for the application, but the funds can be moved from one property to another if needed because the funds can be used at the discretion of the land bank.

“Obviously, a commerical demolition will use more of the funds than a house, so there is a little wiggle room built in,” Yuhasz said.

In Niles, city officials have been awaiting the money, confirmed Friday, to take down the old Reisman’s Furniture store and the long-closed Butler Theater on South Main Street. This would free up land in an otherwise landlocked downtown.

Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz said previously if the city received the grant, which will require a 25 percent match, plans are to demolish the building as part of the city’s downtown revitalization efforts.

Council also said previously that the owners of the two properties wanted to to donate them to the city contingent on the awarding of the grant funds for the demolition.

Mientkiewicz previously said once the buildings are taken down, city officials will work with the Niles Community Improvement Corp. on development of the land for retail, outdoor entertainment / recreation area or additional parking. No firm plans have been made for the property.

Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said more blighted and vacant structures will be demolished to make room for new economic development.

A total of 599 additional structures in 15 counties will be demolished with support from the program, which was created by the DeWine-Husted administration to help local communities demolish dilapidated commercial and residential buildings.

Additional information on the Trumbull projects was not available from the land bank on Friday, although the state did provide addresses.

The projects announced Friday bring the total number of demolition projects funded through the program to 3,699 projects in 87 counties, including 825 projects announced in October and 2,275 projects awarded in early December.

“By ridding our state of eyesores that are hindering development and impacting property values, we can revitalize our communities and attract new investments, businesses, jobs and housing opportunities,” said DeWine.

“Many of our communities have truly transformative ideas for these properties, and I’m pleased that we’re able to help remove these barriers to development.”

The Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development and was created with $150 million allocated by the Ohio General Assembly in the 2021 state biennium budget bill. All counties were eligible for at least $500,000, with some counties receiving additional funding to cover demolition expenses in excess of their initial set-aside grants.

The land bank had sought an additional $10 million grant for the demolition of 200 deteriorating buildings.



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