Monroe County land bank awarded $540K in grant funds | News, Sports, Jobs

Monroe County land bank awarded $540K in grant funds | News, Sports, Jobs

WOODSFIELD — Monroe County will now be able to raze 27 blighted properties in local communities after being awarded $540,000 through the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program.

Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement Friday, stating that 30 counties in the state were awarded funds to demolish more than 800 blighted and vacant structures.

“There are sites all over Ohio that are perfect for redevelopment, but the cost to demolish the crumbling structures on these properties is standing in the way of new economic opportunities,” DeWine said in a press release. “By helping to clear out this blight, we’re investing in the future of our citizens and our communities.”

One highlighted project in Monroe County is an abandoned residential property in the village of Woodsfield.

“The property is located on a state route into the village and is a major eyesore. After demolition, the site will be available for the future construction of a home or business,” the release states.

Taylor Abbott, county treasurer and chairman of the Monroe County Land Reutilization Corp., said members were excited to hear the official news that they had secured the funds. He said the demolition of the 27 projects is already underway. Thus far, the land bank has razed 10 of the properties including some in Lewisville, Antioch and Graysville. He said they are hoping to have the remaining 17 properties crossed off the list by the end of November. Properties remaining are located in Beallsville, Woodsfield, Hannibal, Duffy and Miltonsburg.

“Most of them were old structures that have been dilapidated. Out of the 27 properties, 24, I believe, were owned by private landowners that agreed to have these properties torn down,” he said, adding that once the properties are leveled, the landowner will retain ownership.

“We’ve been well underway and seeing positive results from it. Eliminating eyesores from around the county is a good thing, especially if they’re located next to property owners that are maintaining their property. No one wants to have anything like that next to their property, so it’s great to have the cooperation of landowners who otherwise may not have had the funds or the resources to do these projects. We’re happy we’re able to help that along.”

Abbott said he looks forward to the completion of this round of demolitions. Once the round of projects is complete, he said they will begin looking toward another round of razing dilapidated properties in the county.

“We have future projects already lined up – two big ones that we have state applications out seeking funding for. This land bank is actively looking to continue addressing the blighted properties in the county,” he said.

The land bank next meets at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Monroe County Courthouse in Woodsfield.

Also locally, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners is among the recipients, being awarded $500,000 to demolish 24 blighted properties in the community.

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