The Scioto County Land Reutilization Corporation meet in regular session on Thursday to discuss a number of issues.
Over the course of the meeting, officials disclosed that the corporation now owns five properties and are preparing t0 demolish its first house.
“Today (during the meeting) we voted to accept the contract for Asbestos Testing and (now that we’ve done that) that will be done on the first house,” Scioto County Land Reutilization Corporation Chairman Bryan Davis said.
The contract accepted by the corporation was from Solid Rock Construction.
Davis said it was decided the corporation would raze one house in the near future, to test the waters on how the reimbursement process would work and how long it would take.
The first house to be razed by the corporation will be located on eighth street in Portsmouth. Davis used the word blight to describe the current condition of the house.
At the time of the meeting, the corporation owns five parcels of property, with a goal of acquiring 59 before May and having 25 percent of the properties identified by the corporation demolished before May.
Davis said he was pleased at the pace the corporation is going to address the blighted housing stock in Scioto County.
He said though the list of houses to be demolished by the corporation is large, it changes quite frequently.
Davis said it’s not uncommon for someone to learn of their property being put on the list for possible acquisition by the land bank and pay the back taxes or work out a payment plan to pay the taxes with the county.
“People are finding out some of these properties are getting on the land bank and they are coming in to get with the (Scioto County) Treasurer and setting up payment plans,” Davis said.
He said one of the goals of the corporation is to get to the point they could remodel homes, that can be saved. The corporation is working on a plan for that and it has to be done outside of the corporations main funding source.
“As we have said from day one, we have a major issue in this area with middle-income housing, affordable housing. The stock of affordable housing in this area is very low,” Davis said
He said there are other avenues of funding the corporation could go after to achieve that goal.
“The idea is to address the blight and we’re going to be doing that. We got a slow start, but I would like to be slow and do it right, than be fast and make a mistake. We’re still on track to meet all of our deadlines, it’ll be fine,” Davis said.
For more information about the Scioto County Land Reutilization Corporation call 740-355-8305 or 740-353-9435.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter