April 10, 2015 [WKYC]
Call it addition by subtraction.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced the county is awarding $10 million-plus spread over 20 communities to demolish 615 decrepit homes and commercial buildings.
It’s the first phase of the county’s $50 million demolition plan to knock down blighted buildings.
Budish acknowledged the energy and new development occurring downtown.
“Now it’s time make sure our neighborhoods share in this renaissance, ” he said.
Bedford, Bedford Heights, Berea, Brook Park, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Garfield Heights, Lakewood, Maple Heights, Newburgh Heights, Oakwood, Olmsted Falls, Parma Richmond Heights, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, South Euclid and Warrensville Heights are the communities that will benefit.
The County Land Bank is playing a key role.
Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik says eight commercial buildings and about 30 abandoned homes will come down in his city.
Some are on East 185th Street, the main entrance way to Euclid Hospital, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School and the Hospice of the Western Reserve,
Cervenik said the demolitions will help revitalize the neighborhood and increase property values by clearing the way for investment.
Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers said, “It’s a huge deal” for his city and called the program a “big step” for the whole region.
Money for this first round of awards was accomplished by some re-budgeting.
The county was planning to spend $30 million on upgraded data center for the Medical Examiner’s Office with $14 million of that funding became available for the demolition program because the county plans to save money by using the state’s data center , saving money for the next 25 years.
Budish pledges to find funds for the entire $50 million program. Applications for the second round of funding will be accepted starting May 1.