Counties get more demolition funds

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has awarded more than $3.8 million in additional demolition grants to 87 Ohio counties.

The additional grants were a reallocation of funds that were previously not requested from the “Moving Ohio Forward” demolition program. The $75 million in demolition funds came from the state’s share of the national mortgage settlement in 2012.

Under the original allocation, Mahoning County received $1.5 million, with most of that going to the city of Youngstown. Trumbull received $1.2 million under the original allocation, with most of that going to Warren. Columbiana received $500,000 under the original allocation.

In the latest round, Mahoning County received $76,504, Trumbull received $63,468 and Columbiana received $27,823.

Attorney General Mike DeWine originally allocated funds to each of Ohio’s 88 counties based upon the percentage of foreclosures that occurred in that county between 2008 and 2010, the period of the settlement. In Phase One of the grants, counties were required to provide matching funds for any grant above $500,000. However, several counties did not apply for their full allocation, leaving approximately $3.8 million in unrequested funds.

For Phase Two grants, DeWine has used the same formula as the original allocations, with each county receiving a minimum of $7,800 for the demolition of at least one more blighted structure.

Counties that did not use their full allocation in Phase One of the grants were given the opportunity to request funds from their unused allocation to fund specific demolition projects. Warren County was the only county that declined additional grant funding.

DeWine said counties have until Sept. 30 to use the Phase Two grant funds, and no matching funds will be required. Counties have until May 31 to use the Phase One grant funds. A decision on unused grant funds from Phase One would be made after that time.

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