More than 20 dilapidated homes in rural communities in Clark County are expected to be demolished this year as part of a $1.3 million project stemming from the largest consumer finance protection settlement in U.S. history.
The Clark County Community Development Department has selected 22 structures to be razed in Bethel, German, Mad River, Madison, Pike, Pleasant and Springfield townships. Homes in New Carlisle and the villages of Donnelsville, North Hampton and South Charleston will also be demolished.
Clark County and Springfield officials are poised to split a $943,000 share of the state settlement. As part of a Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program agreement, the city will use 53 percent of the money to demolish 250 homes, and the county will receive 47 percent of the funds.
Clark County Development Director Tom Hale said the county could level as many as 25 homes and hand over any remaining money to the city by the end of June.
“We are eliminating some structures that have been abandoned, foreclosed and that have certainly outlived their useful life. It should help out some of these neighborhoods,” Hale said.
The county can use about $235,000 toward the demolition and officials will ask New Carlisle as well as the townships and villages to contribute the remaining share about $208,000 in matching funds toward the project.
Green Twp. Trustee Allen Armstrong said the township could pay about $10,000 in matching funds to demolish three homes there.
“It’s a very good project. It’s an opportunity for a small township like us, with limited resources, to be able to take care of properties that have been a problem for a while,” Armstrong said. “(Without this grant), there’s no way would be able to do all three.”
The homes are in close proximity to each other along Quwood and Springfield Xenia roads. Two of the homes have been covered by trees and weeds and are barely visible.
Hale said many of the eyesores in the county that will be demolished are the result of either foreclosures or residents who have walked away from their properties.
He said some of the properties have a roof or other portions of the home that has collapsed or is missing.
Armstrong said homeowners who live near these abandoned homes will be pleased when the eyesores are razed.
“It lowers property values for the people around it. I feel bad for them because it’s something beyond their control,” Armstrong said.