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Montgomery County communities plan to demolish buildings using state funding

Montgomery County Land Bank

Communities throughout Montgomery County have asked for statewide funding to demolish buildings and revitalize properties in the area. The Ohio Department of Development has $150 million dollars available statewide through the Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program. The Montgomery County Land Bank is facilitating the applications and will handle the proposed demolition work.

Experts say abandoned properties can be an eyesore, bring down home values and be a safety hazard. Getting rid of overgrown or boarded up buildings can be a plus for cities overall, but especially for the residents living right next to them.

“If you live next to a property that is vacant and abandoned and a blight, it's huge to have that removed from your life,” said Susie Crabill, program manager with the Montgomery County Land Bank. “It's a very personal level when it's in your life and in your community.”

Clayton, Dayton, Englewood, Harrison Township, Huber Heights, Jefferson Township, Miamisburg, Perry Township, Riverside, Trotwood and West Carrollton have all applied for funding. The City of Miamisburg is looking to demolish two properties owned by the city, as well as houses in residential neighborhoods.

“Taking out these structures and providing that relief to the adjacent neighbors of not having to deal with this type of structure next to their home where they may be raising a family or they've made significant investment, I think is obviously a win-win for the community at large,” said Andrew Rodney, Miamisburg’s city planner.

Cities in Montgomery County only need to raise 12.5% of the funding for the proposed projects. The rest will be provided by the state and the land bank. The nonprofit is waiting to find out if the nearly $15 million it requested will be approved.

If all of the funding is approved, Crabill says the land bank might have some trouble keeping up with the demand to demolish all of the buildings using the local workforce.

“The contractors will be very busy,” she said. “I think there's going to be a little bit of a challenge, just bandwidth wise, to get all the work done.”

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.