By Jeff Gallatin
City officials believe some recently developed partnerships between the city and Cuyahoga County will provide benefits in North Olmsted.
Planning and Development Director Kim Wenger outlined at the Sept. 25 city council committee sessions a proposed partnership between the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp. and the city.
“The purpose of the partnership is so that the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp. can act as the city’s agent in connection with removing, repairing, securing insecure or demolishing unsafe, structurally defective, abandoned, deserted or open and vacant buildings or other structures, making emergency corrections of hazardous conditions, or abating any nuisance, including high weeds, overgrown bush and trash and debris from vacant lots.”
Wenger said the city will benefit from the county’s knowledge.
“The experience, skills and resources of the Land Bank are valuable tools that the city can use to expedite dealing with these problem properties,” she said.
Mayor Kevin Kennedy said the program and the $50,000 received from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office as well as a matching amount of $50,000 available from the Ohio Attorney General’ Office Moving Forward Fund will aid the city in dealing with problem properties.
“They’re valuable additional resources for the city,” he said. “They’ll help us deal with problems which could develop from having houses and structures which turn into eyesores for the city.”
Prosecutor’s office officials said the $50,000 for demolition funds comes from money collected via the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Delinquent Tax Assessment fund.
Mark Mahoney, chairman of City Council’s Building, Zoning and Development Committee, said he anticipated Council giving final approval to the related legislation at last night’s council meeting.
“This is a plus for the city,” he said. “It’s a fine example of regionalism where it provides benefits to a community. This is a program which allow us to utilize county resources and help the city, which certainly helps the county out as well.”
Kennedy also noted it was a benefit coming only recently after he was appointed in mid-September by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald to the Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp., more commonly known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank. There are nine members of the Cuyahoga Land Bank board, consisting of regional mayors, officials, attorneys and county administrators.
“It’s a great economic development tool for both the city and the county,” Kennedy said. “I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Kennedy said North Olmsted’s success played a role in the appointment.
“The county officials have recognized the hard work and good results we’ve accomplished in North Olmsted. I thank our residents for the opportunity to serve them in North Olmsted and look forward to representing them county wide with the same passion and intensity they have come to expect.”