Thanks to a state grant, the City of Stow will be able to tear down several houses that have become eyesores in residential neighborhoods.
In 2013, Mayor Sara Drew hopes to tear down 11 to 13 blighted houses in the area. There isn't a set number of houses because the demolition process for each house is different.
"Summit County was allocated a share of money from the Moving Ohio Forward Grant based on the number of homes that need to be demolished," Drew said. "We'll be getting somewhere in the neighborhood of $123,000 to tear down these houses."
Blighted homes are identified in several ways, Drew said. The city performed several site surveys and written surveys asking residents what properties they thought should go. The city also collected complaints throughout the year from residents in those neighborhoods.
"The owner of the property remains the owner after we tear it down," Drew said. "The owner can tell the city it's OK to tear the house down, but they still own the property."
One caveat to the grant is that all the houses have to be torn down by the end of 2013, Drew said. Before, the city used general fund money to demolish problem homes.
"In the short term we can increase the number of properties we demolish because we aren't using general fund money," Drew said. "The benefit of this is it allows the city to improve neighborhoods that are suffering with blighted homes and it improves the property values in that neighborhood."