Eliminating eyesores PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor   
Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:11
An abandoned home is seen on Second Street in Hatton, Ohio on May 13, 2013. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Wood County now has $600,000 to spend on bulldozing those abandoned homes.
The money - which has to be used this year - comes from the federal lawsuit settlement from major banks found guilty in lending scams that led to home foreclosures across the nation.
Wood County was granted $500,000 through the Moving Ohio Forward program by the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Another $104,000 in delinquent tax funds was added to that by the county treasurer.
The bids for the first round of houses to be demolished have been awarded, according to Wood County Planning Commission Director Dave Steiner, whose office is administering the program. "They're in bad shape. They are uninhabitable," Steiner said of the structures on the list.
On the first list to be bulldozed this summer are 13 homes:
• 650 Manville Ave., Bowling Green.
• 204 W. Gibson St., Bairdstown.
• 154 Venango St., Cygnet.
• 410 N. Tarr St., North Baltimore.
• 112 Lincoln St., Bloomdale.
• 204 S. Summit St., North Baltimore.
An abandoned home is seen on Lincoln Street in Bloomdale, Ohio on May 13, 2013.
• 6874 Second St., Hatton.
• 3570 Second St., Hatton.
• 6840 Second St., Hatton.
• 9042 Custar Road,  Custar.
• 327 W. State St., North Baltimore.
• 718 Lime City Road, Rossford.
• 614 Crocker St., Bradner.
The bids average between $5,000 and $7,000 to tear down each structure. "Some are more if they have asbestos," Steiner said.
The homes must be vacant and the owner must consent to them being torn down. "We aren't doing anything without the owners' consent," he said.
Only residential structures can be demolished through the program.
"It can't be industrial or commercial," Steiner said.
Another 12 to 15 homes have already been identified for the next round of demolition this year, according to Jacque Varty, of the Wood County Health Department.
The federal funding must be used by the end of the year, so county officials are looking for more dilapidated homes to be bulldozed.
"If anyone is interested, we'll be glad to tear their house down for them," Steiner said. "The property will stay in their hands."
The interior of an abandoned home on Second Street in Hatton, Ohio is seen May 13, 2013.
Anyone with a dilapidated home to be torn down may call Steiner at (419) 354-9128 or Varty at (419) 352-8402.
Abandoned homes are spread throughout the county, according to Varty.
"They are scattered from Rossford, down to Bloomdale, and in between," he said.
The "blighted" structures attract vermin and trespassing, Varty explained. "They devalue the community."
Without the federal funding, Varty said some of the structures would just continue to deteriorate, since the owners have no funds for demolition. In other cases, they have been abandoned in farmfields, and are just not a priority for demolition. And in some instances, the vacant homes have been purchased by neighbors at sheriff's sales in desperate attempts to get rid of the blighted structures.
"We just can't get them done fast enough," Varty said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:20

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