UPDATE: $218K Grant Will Be Used To Demolish Abandoned Homes
By Mike Perleberg
Update posted Wednesday, November 5 at 1:25 p.m.:
Mark McCormack, Dearborn County Director of Planning and Zoning, says a public hearing on the upcoming Blight Elimination Program will take place Wednesday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m. at the Dearborn County Administration Building, 215 B West High Street, in Lawrenceburg.
The $218,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority announced in September will be used to demolish nine vacant homes in the county. Five of those properties are located in Aurora, one in Moores Hill, and three more in unincorporated areas of the county.
Original story posted Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 9:49 a.m.:
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Dearborn County is getting money to fight the blight.
The Dearborn County Planning & Zoning Department and Dearborn County Building Department have received a $218,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The IHCDA Blight Elimination Program funds will be used to demolish nine vacant, dilapidated homes across the county, says Planning & Zoning Director Mark McCormack.
The grant was one of seven totaling $6 million announced by the state authority on August 28.
Five of the nine Dearborn County properties are located in Aurora. One is in Moores Hill. Three others are in unincorporated parts of the county: Manchester on State Road 48 near the playground, Kaiser Road off of State Road 48, and in Wilmington on King Street.
McCormack says sites were selected based on unsafe building conditions, identified vacant housing, identified health issues, identified blighted areas based on comprehensive planning sessions and staff meetings, and other factors.
“Sites were scored by county staff from the Building, Health, and Planning & Zoning Departments based on the BEP Site Evaluation Matrix that was provided/required by the IHCDA,” he said in an email.
The buildings will be demolished and their sites cleared within the next 18 months. According to the state, the awarded may also be used by local governments to offer a variety of end uses for the newly cleared parcels, such as redevelopment, future development, or green space.
The grant had been requested in July. The county partnered with the Aurora Redevelopment Commission, the Town of Moores Hill Redevelopment Commission, and three private property owners in the unincorporated areas.
According to McCormack, the county and its communities will have the additional opportunity to apply for even more funding – up to $2 million says the IHCDA.
State Rep. Jud McMillin issued a statement on the Dearborn County award citing RealtyTrac and 24/7 Wall Street analyses that roughly 30 percent of Indiana’s foreclosed homes are abandoned.
“These properties can become a serious issue for homeowners, neighborhoods and communities since some of them do not have the necessary resources to fix this problem,” said McMillin. “I am pleased that the state has chosen to provide these additional resources to Dearborn County in an effort to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family.”