Local Land Bank explores new demolition program

The Record-Herald

During a recent Fayette County Land Bank meeting, board members discussed a new state program called “Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced the launch of the new grant program to help revitalize local communities through the demolition of blighted and vacant buildings.

The new Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program will provide nearly $150 million in grants to raze dilapidated commercial and residential buildings and revitalize surrounding properties.

The program is part of the DeWine-Husted administration’s strategic efforts to invest in Ohio’s future, according to a press release.

“There are dangerous, blighted buildings all over Ohio that are nothing more than eyesores that restrict new development,” said DeWine. “We want our local communities to thrive, and through this new grant program, we will help all 88 counties tear down dilapidated structures to make room for future growth.”

The Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program was created with the support of the Ohio General Assembly, which funded the program as part of the 2021 state biennium budget bill, House Bill 110. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

“We’re attracting companies to Ohio because of our low taxes and excellent business climate, but they need sites to set up shop,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Remediating these properties turns the blight into new opportunities to attract investment, business, and jobs.”

“Abandoned and blighted buildings are often hazards in our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By removing them, we make way for new growth and economic development throughout Ohio.”

As required by House Bill 110, funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure that all of Ohio’s 88 counties benefit from the program, each county will be eligible to receive a minimum of $500,000.

Commercial and residential buildings on sites that are not brownfields are eligible for funding. Counties must designate one lead entity to apply for grant funds on behalf of the county. In counties where a county land re-utilization corporation has been established, it will be the lead entity for that county. Other application details are available in the program guidelines.

The Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program is part of DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, and more.

The Fayette County Land Bank Board has identified two sites for preliminary consideration: a property on Rawlings Street and a property in downtown Jeffersonville. Both properties are in a state of extreme disrepair.

Also during the meeting, the board discussed the State of Ohio’s Brownfield Remediation Program which will provide nearly $350 million for Ohio counties to be used to assist in the remediation of hazardous substances or petroleum at an industrial, commercial or institutional property.

Remediation includes acquisition of a brownfield, demolition performed at a brownfield, and the installation or upgrade of the minimum amount of infrastructure that is necessary to make a brow operational for economic development.

Funding of $1 million will be set aside for each county in Ohio. First round applications are due Jan. 31, 2022. The board has identified three sites for preliminary assessment: sites on Bogus Road, a site in the City of Washington Industrial Park and a site owned by Fayette County Community Action Commission.

Both programs will be administrated by the Ohio Department of Development. It was agreed to submit the Letter of Intent with the Fayette County Land Reutilization Corporation being the “Lead Entity” for the purpose of submitting an application for the Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program.

For more information on the new Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, visit Development.Ohio.Gov/Demolition.


The Record-Herald