By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
ASHTABULA — The city of Ashtabula goes into the building demolition business this year, and is ready to flatten more dilapidated structures, said City Manager Jim Timonere.
Last summer, Ashtabula reached an agreement with Ashtabula County to allow the city to manage the $200,000 in demolition money the city will receive to knock down ramshackle buildings.
The city has started title searches, asbestos removal and bidding, Timonere said.
The city recently wrapped up the old Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which helped the city eliminated about 80 nuisance houses and commercial buildings across the city over the past few years.
“We spent approximately $738,000 for asbestos abatement, and other related costs such as title searches and administrative costs,” he said.
Poised to take the Neighborhood Stabilization Program’s place is a new program, Moving Ohio Forward. The program is designed to aid communities in dealing with problems caused by abandoned buildings caused by foreclosures and is funded through a nationwide settlement with a handful of prominent mortgage lenders.
In addition to Ashtabula’s allotment, Conneaut received $150,000 through the program, while Geneva and other communities will share $150,000.
Moving Ohio Forward money must be spent by the end of the year, Timonere said. He anticipates about 20 buildings will come down via the program.
“We are ready to go with this funding,” he said.