The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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After a delayed start due to having to cut through more red tape than originally expected, Ottawa Residential Services, Inc. is on course to meet its goal of having about 20 blighted or abandoned residences demolished this year.

Ottawa County received approximately $222,450 through the Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program in which Attorney General Mike DeWine allocated about $75 million statewide to demolish blighted structures.

The funding comes from a settlement between state attorneys general and five of the largest mortgage lenders over allegations of foreclosure abuse and deceptive lending practices.

Stephanie Lowe, executive director of Ottawa Residential Services, said the agency has overseen the demolition of two homes – one each in Oak Harbor and Bay Township – and is scheduling the demolition of another five: two in Rocky Ridge and one each in Portage and Bay townships and Oak Harbor.

“And we are in the process of collecting bids for the next five structures,” she said. “They include one in Allen Township, one in Portage Township, one in Oak Harbor, and two in Port Clinton. Additionally, we have received clean title searches for one in Clay Township and one in Rocky Ridge. We will be scheduling the asbestos assessments in the upcoming weeks for those two structures.”

The county commissioners approved contracts April 23 for demolishing five structures – two each in Port Clinton and the Village of Rocky Ridge and one in the Village of Oak Harbor.

The contracts for the Port Clinton structures were awarded to Allen Excavating, Inc. for $6,800 and $7,300 for homes on W. Fremont Road and E. State Road respectively.

Cash Services was awarded a contract for $7,500 to raze a home on W. First Street in Rocky Ridge and Marko Demolition & Crushing was awarded contracts of $10,800 and $5,600 to raze homes on N. Main Street in Rocky Ridge and N. Locust Street in Oak Harbor respectively.

Lowe said her office is also awaiting the results of title searches for another three properties  - two in Danbury Township and one in Clay Township.

“All of these combined should put us close to demolishing 17 structures by August 2013,” she said. “Our goal is 20-22 structures before the end of the year, depending on funding”

The attorney general’s office began accepting the first round of grant applications in May 2012.

Demolition work is to be completed by December 31, 2013 and a final report of demolitions and land reutilization is required by December 31, 2014.

The program does not require a match for the first $500,000 allocated to each county.

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