Lima City Council approves voluntary demolition program

LIMA — Lima City Council reconvened Monday evening to conduct business. Ordinances were passed to help the city begin new programs for residents, including a volunteer demolition program.

Through the Better Together Plan, the city allocated $1.5 million to assist with blighted properties. The city decided to create a new strategy to make the process simpler. According to the communications letter, qualifying property owners will be able to apply for their homes to be demolished. Public Works Director Kirk Niemeyer said the city will not take ownership of the land following the demolition.

“We believe this is a more efficient way to remove blight in residential neighborhood properties both garages and single-family homes,” said Niemeyer. “The normal process is if we get called on different properties we go out and look at them and see if they fit the criteria that’s in our code. If it does then we notify the property owners. It can be upwards of a 24-step process and can take a significant amount of time.”

Property owners will pay $250 for an application fee for a blighted home or $100 for a blighted garage. The funding within the program will cover the cost of the demolition. Niemeyer said once the funds are no longer available the program will end.

“It gives property owners another option,” said Niemeyer. “The option is if you come forward with a 42-year title search as well as complete the application, we will check and make sure it meets demolition criteria.”

Council also approved an ordinance for Mayor Sharetta Smith to obtain a temporary easement for a bridge project on West Street. According to a previous article by The Lima News, the bridge construction workers will replace the bridge deck and beams.

Council memorialized Matt Myers. Myers was a firefighter for the Shawnee Township Fire Department who died Feb. 21 after battling Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

“It is a true tribute to a man when you go to a funeral home and so many people are there,” said First Ward Council Member Todd Gordon. “You realize he is a great guy but it is nice to know everyone felt that way as well.”

In addition, the Council honored Hofeller, Hiatt and Clark for 125 years of business in Lima.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.