April 11, 2015 [The News-Herald]
Euclid is being recommended to receive $1 million in the first round of Cuyahoga County Property Demolition Program, one of only two communities recommended for the maximum allotted funding.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced his recommendations for the first round of funding April 10.
Euclid is looking to demolish 23 structures with the recommended funding, 12 residential and 11 commercial. Euclid Planning & Development Director Jonathan Holody said a larger portion of the funding will go toward commercial demolitions.
For commercial demolitions, Holody said the city will start with properties that they already own or control. Those include a former city pool on E. 279th Street and the former Lakeshore Chevy site on E. 185th Street.
Holody said there is a community garden next to the pool site that he thinks the gardeners will be able to expand on and will “remove an eyesore from the neighborhood.”
During a December 2014 council meeting, Councilman Kristian Jarosz referred to the Lakeshore Chevrolet site as an eyesore and said Euclid Hospitals tells people to enter its campus from E. 200th Street and not E. 185th Street.
“They don’t want that vision to be what (the patients) perceive our community to be,” he said.
Some of the commercial demolitions, Holody added, will help make the sites ready more quickly for new development.
Last year, Cuyahoga County Council approved a plan to make $50 million available to its communities to remove blighted structures. The Cuyahoga County Land Bank has been allocated $9 million of the $50 million.
Funds for the program are equally available to all the municipalities in the county, despite previous attempts from representatives from Cleveland and inner-ring suburbs to receive a larger percentage of that funding.
To qualify for demolition, structures must be certified as vacant, abandoned and nuisance properties.
More than $10 million was awarded in the first round of funding to 20 communities to demolish 619 properties according to a news release. In total, 22 communities applied for funding. Applications for the first round of funding were due in late February.
Communities could apply for up to $1 million in funding and no more than $100,000 can be awarded to demolish any individual structure.
East Cleveland is the only other community to receive the full $1 million in funding.
Richmond Heights is receiving $100,000 to demolish three structures in the city.
According to the news release, Budish’s administration has identified $14 million to fund the first round of demolition that was previously allocated for an upgraded data center. The Department of Information Technology planned to pay $30 million over 25 years for an upgraded data center in the Medical Examiner’s Office, but in early 2015, Ohio announced the availability of their data center for $9.5 million over 25 years. County Council still needs to vote on whether to approve a contract with the state for the data center.