LIMA — The Allen County Land Bank may still be waiting on the decision regarding grant funding from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, but that did not stop the agency from conducting its first demolitions Wednesday on Lima’s West Wayne and South Metcalf Streets.
Both properties, 962 W. Wayne St. and 330-330 1/2 S. Metcalf St., had both been heavily tax delinquent, with more than $20,000 combined in delinquent taxes and assessments. For Allen County Treasurer Rachael Gilroy, taking these blighted, delinquent properties down can pave the way for newer investment while also fostering safer neighborhoods, with abandoned properties no longer available for for use as drug homes or havens for animals.
“The land will be posted on [the Land Bank] website, and it will be available for anyone who wants to see what properties we have,” she said in front of the Wayne Street property. “We already potentially have a new user set up for this property, which is exactly how we want to do things.”
Once the buildings are removed, the properties will be available for new building construction or for purchase by adjacent owners for property expansion. The land bank is hopeful for as much as $7 million in grant funding to bring additional delinquent houses down, with 313 homes throughout the county in the pipeline for demolition.
Lima Mayor David Berger was present for the Wayne Street demolition, noting that while the city of Lima has its own land bank, the county land bank, filed under a different Ohio statute, will be able to address blighted houses throughout the county.
“I think what you’re going to see with the application they’ve made for roughly $7 million over the next couple of years will be a real impact in our community,” he said. “Taking down problem houses in a neighborhood helps stabilize that neighborhood, encouraging others to make investments.”
The Allen County Land Bank will learn of OHFA’s decision regarding grant funding on Oct. 17.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.