Program works to remove blighted properties in cities (Star Beacon)

By Mark Todd, Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Bucking tradition, government officials gathered Monday morning in Conneaut to celebrate a building’s destruction, not construction.

The occasion was the demolition of a house at 316 Woodworth Road, the first in the city to be flattened this year with money secured in 2015 through the Ohio Housing Finance Authority’s Neighborhood Initiative Program. Work could commence soon on a second house, this one located on South Liberty Street, said Conneaut City Manager James Hockaday.

Members of the Ashtabula County Land Reutilization Corporation’s board of directors and other officials were on hand to watch a big power shovel punch a big hole in the rear of the two-story house. A similar ceremony took place in Ashtabula eight months ago to launch the $1.3 million program aimed at blighted properties in Ashtabula, Conneaut and Geneva.

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