County homes set for demolition

By Joyell Nevins

April 27, 2014

By Joyell Nevins

Staff Writer

MIAMI COUNTY — Forty-six Miami County residences considered to be public nusiances have been or are scheduled to be demolished by May 31. This is through funds from a settlement awarded to the Ohio Attorney General’s (AG) Office and filtered down to the county. A second set of funds through the same filter have put four more addresses on the demolition list to be completed by Sept. 30.

According to Community Development Program Manager for the Miami County Department of Development Nikki Reese, the Miami County Board of Commissioners was awarded demolition funds from the AG’s office to demolish blighted residential structures.

The Grant

On March 12, 2012, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with 48 other state attorney generals, settled with five of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers (Ally/GMAC; Bank of America; Citi; JPMorgan Chase; and Wells Fargo) over foreclosure abuses, fraud, and unfair and deceptive mortgage practices.

The total settlement was $25 billion.

Ohio received $330 million in relief through loan modification, principle reduction, and an interest rate refinancing program and $93 million to help with foreclosure prevention, assistance to individuals who have experienced foreclosure, and revitalizing neighborhoods by removing blighted properties.

The AG’s Office allocated $75 million of the $93 million to all 88 counties in Ohio to create the “Moving Ohio Forward” grant program (MOF). MOF grants were to be used to demolish vacant, abandoned and blighted residential properties that “detract from existing home values and create a toxic breeding ground for crime,” Reese said.

The grant program does not permit using the grant funding for commercial or industrial properties.

The allocation formula was based on the percentage of foreclosures filed in each county between 2008-2011. Miami County ranked 25th out of 88 counties and received an allocation of $527,000. Due to a matching fund amount from Miami County Public Health and the City of Piqua, that number jumped to $554,000.

Miami County Board of Commissioners required property owners to pay 50 percent of the total cost of the demolition, excluding the asbestos survey expenses (the survey is required by law). Reese said there were three reasons why Miami County set up the MOF demolition program that way:

• The property owner who allowed the property to become dilapidated in the first place should be held accountable for allowing it to happen.

• The Commissioners will be creating a revolving loan fund with the funds returned to finance Miami County demolitions in the future.

• The same requirement was successfully used to administer the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

This rule did not apply to homes owned by the county or a non-profit organization, or already under a tax lien.

Reese said final project selection was determined by readiness to proceed. The breakdown was 11 homes in Piqua; four in the city of Troy; four in the Miami County portion of Bradford; one in the city of Tipp City; three in Covington; four in Fletcher; one in Laura; one in Pleasant Hill; five in West Milton; five in Bethel Township; three in Concord Township; one in Elizabeth Township; one in Monroe Township; and two in Union Township (the list of complete addresses can be found at the end of this article).

The funds had to be requested for specific projects by Dec. 31, 2013. At that time, any funds not already earmarked for projects would be recaptured and reallocated by the AG.

According to Reese, all the funds for Miami County were put to use. Each of the 46 homes is either demolished already or under contract.

Last month, the county received notice that out of the recaptured funds statewide, the AG is granting them another $27,794 for phase two of the MOF program. This will not have any matching funds to go with it.

After consulting with the Miami County Public Health, Reese said the four addresses chosen for phase two were 10905 W. State Route 571, Laura; 707 Sherman, Troy; 121 N. Main St., Laura; and 837 Piqua-Lockington, Piqua.

These demolitions will be bid out as soon as all the phase one projects are completed. According to the AG, all phase two demolitions must be completed by Sept. 30.

For more information about Moving Ohio Forward, contact Nikki Reese at Miami County Department of Development at (937) 440-8116 or visit www.greaterohio.org under “Projects.”

The Properties

Below is a list of residences demolished through phase one of MOF:

- Troy: 530 Lake St., 410 S. Walnut St., 366 Miami St., 316-318 W. Water St.

- Piqua: 707 McKinley St., 529 W. Water St., 507 Gray St., 622 First St., 514-514 1/2 Spring St., 1411 Edge St., 1210 S. Roosevelt St., 329 Harrison St., 114 Cassell St. 415 Glenwood, 342 South St.

- Bradford: 522 Liberty St., 120 James St., 118 Smithfield St., 138 Elm St.

- Tipp City: 325 Wells St.

- Covington: 14 W. Broadway St., 728 Walnut St., 5160 Front St.

- Laura: 108 Ludlow St.

- Fletcher: 205 W. Main St., 120-122 W. Main St., 502 S. Walnut St., 1 W. Fourth St.

- Pleasant Hill: 214 Monument St.

- West Milton: 303 N. Miami St., 130 Washington St., 223 Park St., 32 W. Hayes St., 438 S. Miami St.

- Bethel Township: 8882 Mann Road, 8635 State Route 202, 8015 Palmer Road, 6545 Ross Road, 6582 U.S. Route 40

- Concord Township: 1240 Eldean Road, 1400 Waco St., 1541 N. County Road 25A

- Elizabeth Township: 7930 State Route 41

- Monroe Township: 7650 S. County Road 25A

- Union Township: 6343 State Route 55, 11977 Coppock Road