FREMONT, Ohio — A program to help beautify the city of Fremont that was put on hold due to the pandemic is now getting a financial shot in the arm.
After the Sandusky County Land Bank was founded a few years ago, Fremont Mayor Danny Sanchez hoped the city would be able to utilize the program to demolish up to 12 derelict homes a year, starting in 2020.
But once the pandemic began, funding pools to pay for the demolition dried up.
Then last week, the state of Ohio awarded the Sandusky County Land Bank $500,000 in grant funding from the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program.
"These are state dollars, state grant dollars, that we can now utilize and don't have to touch our local general funds to clean up these neighborhoods," Sanchez said.
So with the demolition plan now alive once again, Fremont has submitted seven houses that have been deemed uninhabitable or not worth renovating.
Residents can submit their own ideas for derelict properties to be added to that list until June.
But it's not just demolition.
Sanchez said other properties that could be renovated are being set aside for potential investors.
"I've had several developers and contractors reach out to me since this information has come out. So, we're hopeful that we can see the other houses that don't need to be torn down rehabilitated, but tear down the ones that just aren't financially worth rehabilitating," Sanchez said.
Sanchez is hopeful that the handful of properties in Fremont that are already signed up with the land bank can be demolished and cleared out before the end of spring.