City of Marietta Begins Demolition on Blighted and Burned Out Houses
May 16, 2023
Source: The Marietta Times
Blighted and burned out houses on the City of Marietta’s list are starting to come down, with five on the original list already gone or in the process of disappearing this week.
Local contractor Ken Strahler of Ken Strahler Masonry Inc. won the contract for the “Hot Six,” as they were originally called to indicate they were top-priority demolitions.
There’s a burned house on Elm Street, which is under a separate contract, that probably will be taken care of at the end of this week, he said. Then the 131 Wood St. site on the original list will be tackled, possibly the first of next week.
“The one that seems the most talked about is 115 Muskingum Drive,” Strahler said.
The funding for the work so far comes from two sources, according to Public Safety and Service Director Steve Wetz. There was $75,000 in the budget initially budgeted for demolition. It has been used for everything but 802 Second St. and 115 Muskingum Drive. That money is coming from newly allocated American Rescue Plan Act funds, $125,000 approved by Marietta City Council in Ordinance 264, passed at its regularly scheduled May 4 meeting.
Wetz also said there were 13 properties receiving attention because of needed trash clean up, weeds and grass issues and broken windows. The city is paying a contractor a total of $8,100 to handle those issues and property owners will be billed. If payment is not satisfactorily settled, property taxes will be assessed.
The ordinance appropriating the $125,000 in ARPA funds says it is to be used for slum, blight and nuisance remediation (code enforcement) by the Department of Property Maintenance. Many of the properties have been condemned by the city and present a danger to the public, the ordinance says. But there are properties where various owners have died and others are not physically or financially able to demolish structures on their properties or clear the properties of debris. Some of the sites are in foreclosure proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas for Washington County, the ordinance says.
Council also is continuing to work on issues previously brought before council regarding 605 Pearl Street. Those plans are not yet finalized.
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