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Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Buildings' demolition linked to enhancement

Burkettsville

By Shelley Grieshop
BURKETTSVILLE - A pair of rundown buildings in the village are targeted for demolition as part of a proposed enhancement project.
Mercer County Commissioners on Tuesday certified the project to the Ohio Department of Development as a "spot slum and blight activity." The action makes the estimated $20,000 project eligible for a Neighborhood Revitalization grant being pursued by the county on behalf of the village.
One of the buildings is located at the northeast corner of Plum and Green streets and is owned by Werling & Sons Inc. The second building is on Green Street and owned by Ron and Karen Quinter.
According to the grant application, the structures are located in low to moderate income areas. The buildings are "beyond repair and pose a substantial health and safety hazard," it states.
The demolition work is part of a bigger endeavor the county is helping the town achieve. The county's community development office is applying, on the town's behalf, for state and federal funding for an estimated $1.1 million project for street construction, a new park trail, flood/drainage enhancement and other work.
County officials are seeking a $92,000 federal formula grant through the Community Development Block Grant program and $300,000 from the federal Neighborhood Revitalization Program. The county also intends to offer the village $40,000 from the revolving loan fund.
The grant dollars could help the village leverage other revenue such as a $700,000 grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission. The village likely will be responsible for about $30,000 of the project total.
A required public hearing is set for 10 a.m. Thursday to draw citizen input on the proposed grant funding and project. An initial public hearing was held in January.
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