Demolition program too slow for some trustees

LISBON – Tad Herold, county economic development director, gave township trustees an update on the first phase of the home demolition program Wednesday night.

While some of the trustees seemed happy with the first phase of the program, others said they have not seen the contractor at all yet. One contractor was issued all 44 homes and it is reportedly taking time to get to them all.

“We’re plugging away,” Herold told trustees, adding, “There have been no real set backs.”

While awarding the bid to one contractor saved money, some at the meeting questioned whether it cost them time in getting the dilapidated homes demolished. Trustees from both West Township and Salem Township spoke up to say the contractor did a good job there, while another trustee reported a dumpster had been left behind at a property on Saltwell Road.

The homes are being demolished with a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s office. During the first phase, 44 homes in Columbiana, East Palestine, and Leetonia, as well as Butler, Center, Knox, Liverpool, Madison, Middleton, Perry, Salem, St. Clair and West townships are slated to be torn down.

During the second phase, it has been reported the plan is to demolish 23 homes in East Liverpool, Salem, Wellsville, Salineville and Hanoverton.

Trustees questioned Herold whether there is any more money available. Herold said he has heard that not every county has used all the money or any of the money which was granted, but he does not yet know whether it will be made available to other counties.