Girard seeks to demolish dozens of buildings

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership expected to receive money

GIRARD — City officials will submit a list of more than 50 vacant and dilapidated residential and commercial properties to Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership to secure funding for demolitions.

Mayor James Melfi said at Monday’s city council meeting it has been a long time since the city has received money for demolitions, with many done in 2009 and 2010. Those included the Washington Avenue School, the old St. Rose School, and the Jones Building located near the Knights of Columbus hall, which is now a parking lot.

He said back then, the city received $300,000 for demolitions and tore down more than 25 residential properties.

“This is an opportunity for municipalities to receive demolition dollars in large amounts. The Valley is expected to get demolition money, so I am submitting to Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership / Trumbull County Land Bank a list of the vacant residential and commercial structures throughout the city,” Melfi said.

He said many of the homes have “become burdens and eyesores in the neighborhoods.” Melfi said there are 43 residential properties on the list.

The city has received limited funds to tear down one or two homes in recent years, but Melfi said with asbestos removal and demolition, it costs $30,000 for one house.

“This is an opportunity for us to get rid of some eyesores that have plagued this city for years,” Melfi said.

He said he is not sure the total amount Trumbull County will get in state funds.

In other business, council gave first reading to requiring self-locking doors at entranceways providing access to buildings containing four or more dwelling units.

Councilwoman-at-Large Lily Martuccio, who sponsored the legislation, said that tenants at some apartment complexes in the city have contacted her about the main entrances to the complexes not being secured and people who do not live there often coming into the buildings.

She said residents are concerned for their safety that “strangers” are coming into the apartment buildings. She said many places do give access cards to the tenants, so locking the main doors should not prevent tenants from getting inside.

Martuccio said the ordinance is to protect the tenants from any criminal issues or vandalism.


Auditor Julie Coleman reported that as of the end of August, the speed cameras used by the police department have generated $1.160 million this year, which is a 49 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2022.

Coleman said the funds generated from the cameras are dispursed 58% to the general fund, 18% to the street fund, 14% for recreation, and remainder in other funds.

Also, Law Director Brian Kren reported the courts ruled that a pit bull ban ordinance is unconstitutional, so he will proceed with getting the city’s books changed and have that section removed.

Second Ward Councilman Mark Standohar said the pit bull ordinance was designed to help protect the public the best way possible from that breed.


Members of Girl Scout Troop 80739 reported they have completed projects in the community, including creating a fire pit at Girard Liberty Park for a Bronze Award.

Troop member Lauren Green said she is working on her Silver Award by creating a flower bed area behind the bocce court at Tod Park with various flowers, shrubbery, trees, plants and decorative rocks.

Troop leader Amanda Smith Teutsch said work also is being done at the Mickey Williams Memorial Field at the park, including planting a dogwood tree and plans for a pollinator garden and statuary. The area is in memory of Williams, who was a police officer in Girard.