Blighted properties come tumbling down

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Messenger photo by Becky Barker A dilapidated house on Spring Street in Mount Sterling is leveled. Funds from a Moving Ohio Forward grant paid for the demolition.
Messenger photo by Becky Barker
A dilapidated house on Spring Street in Mount Sterling is leveled. Funds from a Moving Ohio Forward grant paid for the demolition.

(Posted May 9, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Blighted and abandoned houses are getting the ax. In the past three months, 10 have been torn down in Madison County.

The clean-up is the result of a Moving Ohio Forward Demolition grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The program allocated $75 million across all of Ohio’s counties to help communities with economic recovery through the removal of rundown residential structures. Madison County’s share is $183,000.

Structures identified for demolition require the homeowner’s permission. The work is done at no cost to the homeowner or to the county. The homeowner retains ownership of the property.

“It’s a win-win for both parties,” said Joe Johnson, Mount Sterling village administrator and coordinator of the county’s Moving Ohio Forward demolitions.

To date, structures have been torn down at the following Madison County addresses:

• 59 1/2 S. Oak St., London

• 220 S. Oak St., London

• 218 W. High St., London

• 47 S. South St., London

• 4185 Cheseldine Road, Madison Lake

• 11200 Foster Redman Road, Range

• 135 Madison St., Mount Sterling

• 155 Spring St., Mount Sterling

• 9253 O’Day Harrison Road, Mount Sterling

• 7250 Dyer Road, Mount Sterling

Eight of the 10 structures contained asbestos, which was removed prior to demolition. Once a structure is razed, the grant pays for a one-time grass seeding of the property.

An 11th structure, located at 159 N. High St. in Mount Sterling, is due for demolition this week. A 12th possibility is the abandoned house at 239 W. High St. in London.

“We’re working on getting some done in South Solon, too, but we’re having trouble getting sign-offs,” Johnson said.

The deadline for counties to use all of the demolition grant funds is May 31.

Johnson said he is already seeing signs of the program’s positive economic impact.

“There are some people interested in buying lots now that they’re cleaned up,” he said.

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