Lancaster Prepares To Demolish Rundown Properties - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Lancaster Prepares To Demolish Rundown Properties

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Four residential properties, which are past their prime, are scheduled to be torn down in Lancaster.

The demolition of these neighborhood eyesores is being funded by a grant from the Ohio Attorney General's Office. 

The money comes from a settlement reached between the state with five of the nation's largest mortgage services over foreclosure abuses, fraud, and unfair and deceptive mortgage practices. The grant is being divided among all 88 counties.

Michael Poff remembers the good times here at the Cedar Hill Road Market.

"I remember back in the early 90's I bought my first pager out of there. Before that, me and my friends used to come up here every day and say hi to Betty that used to run the place, buy the old penny candy," said Poff, who lives just across the street.

Pagers and candy are now gone; replaced by decaying wood from years of neglect and abandonment.

Now, the corner store of Michael's youth is set to be leveled. It is the first of four properties in Lancaster to face the wrecking ball thanks to a $844,000 grant from Ohio Moving Forward.

"We have about 36 properties on our list right now that we're targeting for demolition," said Poff.

Donna Fox-Moore is the housing director for the Lancaster/Fairfield County Community Action Agency. She says the agency is working with eight other townships and villages to get rid of dilapidated structures.

A burned-out home located at 112 North Slocum, and one at 318 North George Street, and a property at 809 West Mulberry are all on the list to be torn down.

Fox-Moore says cooperation of property owners is a must, but sometimes going to court is the only recourse.

"Some properties can be demolished on a voluntary basis where a property owner has no way to have the funds to manage that blight; and in the meantime, it's not fair to their neighbors because their property values are being affected," said Fox-Moore.

The tearing down of the Cedar Hill Market is welcomed news to Misty Bates. She works at the elementary school just steps away. She says it's often an after school hangout for kids

"The floor is caved in and then there's animals in there, cats. I just prefer it to be down so the kids don't get hurt," said Bates.

Other properties could be demolished by the end of the year, when the grant expires.

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