[ back ]
Franklin Twp. applies to demolish blighted property
|Messenger photo by Sean V. Lehosit
Plant life grows out from a hole in the roof of a property on Marsdale Avenue. The structure is not secure, in danger of collapsing and is inhabitable.
An abandoned home on Marsdale Avenue in Franklin Township is on the verge of collapse, houses wild animals and has a tree growing through its roof.
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners allocated $350,000 on Oct. 25 toward a pilot program that will demolish 17 blighted properties throughout the county.
At the Oct. 27 Franklin Township meeting, officials said they will submit the Marsdale Avenue property to the program.
“The township has been looking at this issue for the last year. We were waiting for the county program to be developed to take advantage of a grant opportunity to save our township taxpayers the expense of doing the work,” said Timothy Guyton, Franklin Township trustee.
The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) will administer the program and implement the demolition. MORPC is to work with township officials and the Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department to identify eligible structures.
Applicable properties must pose a health risk, lack structural integrity and have secured approval for demolition through the court system.
Guyton said it is estimated to cost up to $15,000 to tear down and re-grade the property, remove the slab and seed the area.
If Franklin Township’s application is approved, MORPC will select a contractor and oversee the demolition. A bill will be submitted to the township, which becomes a lien against the property owner.
Certified letters are mailed to property owners directing them to abate and remove the structure themselves before the county steps in.
While some townships have blighted buildings, not all properties fit the criteria for the program.
According to Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker, their township was interested in the program, but no buildings have been declared unsafe or unsound.
Prairie Township found alternative grant programs to take away neighborhood blight, like in July when the township purchased and demolished the Hometown Inn as part of a road improvement project.
“If the program is able to stay intact as we know it now, it will allow townships to continue to abate unsafe structures on a more regular basis,” Guyton said. “These structures are the worst of the worst.”
[ back ]