On Friday, April 10, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish made good on his promise to assist the inner-ring suburbs of Cleveland, including Parma, in demolishing properties that are vacant and distressed. Recently, he, along with County Council, approved the first round of what is to be a $50 million dollar commitment to suburban communities. “We are committed to working with communities and housing advocates, side-by-side, to eliminate blight, promote redevelopment and ultimately, create stronger neighborhoods,” Budish stated at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank in Cleveland.
Cities were required to complete grant applications in hopes of being awarded part of the initial $10 million package. Most of the communities that applied were awarded funding. Parma’s successful grant application translates into a $116,400 award, which will be used to eliminate 8 residential homes. In fact, the grant will provide the funds to demolish the unsafe and unkempt properties located at 1522 Grantwood Drive, 2824 Maplecrest Avenue, 3110 Ingleside Drive, 3425 Brookview Boulevard, 4208 Snow Road, 5735 Bavaria Avenue, 6710 Theota Avenue, and 911 Dawnwood Drive. Ward Four Councilman Brian Day, who, as City Council’s Safety Committee Chairman, has been a constant advocate of eliminating unsightly and unsafe structures in Parma’s neighborhoods, stated that he is “very pleased that Parma will be a recipient of these demolition funds, as they will help us eliminate some blighted properties that have been an eyesore in our neighborhoods.”
As President of Parma City Council and an attendee of Budish’s press conference, I was very happy with the announcement on several fronts. First and foremost, it provides our city with another tool to fight blight in an effort to bolster property values and quality of life in our otherwise stabilizing neighborhoods. Further, it shows the commitment of Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Parma City Council to seek creative ways of financing local government, given our budget challenges due to state cuts over the years. It also reveals that Budish is making good on his campaign pledge to assist cities like Parma that are still experiencing the effects of the economic downturn on our housing stock. At the conclusion of the conference Budish announced that the next round of grants will begin on May 1.
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