October 28, 2014 [Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com]
Cuyahoga County Council tonight is expected to approve a long-discussed plan to borrow $50 million to pay for vacant property demolitions.
The demolition plan, originally proposed by County Executive Ed FitzGerald in February, would make available up to $1 million per city, village or township to knock down vacant buildings.
If there’s still money left over after an initial round of funding, communities can apply to receive up to an additional $2 million each.
It would also send $3 million to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, the semi-public nonprofit, to tear down the buildings it owns throughout the county.
Cleveland, which has more vacant buildings than any other local community, haspushed for a larger share of the money. It would cost $120 million to knock down all the vacant, condemned buildings in the city alone.
Officials from inner-ring suburbs have also jockeyed for a larger share.
Council is also expected to approve legislation to create a new department of sustainability. The plan, introduced by councilwoman Sunny Simon, would promote ‘green’ efforts, including helping residents making green modifications to their home.