MINGO JUNCTION - Village Council was informed Tuesday by village Administrator Frank Fuscardo that village officials will put together an application to try to get some of the $75 million in demolition grants being awarded through the state attorney general's office.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced last week the process communities must use to apply for the demolition grants.
Fuscardo said the village is looking at demolishing a large section of the western side of Commercial Street. He said the demolition can be done in two sections. He didn't have a cost estimate for the project.
The buildings have been abandoned and are a problem for the village with break-ins.
"Those buildings need to go. Both sections are deplorable. The roofs are leaking. They are going to fall down," Fuscardo said.
He added the village would like to see commercial development come in after the buildings are taken down.
Fuscardo has been researching the grant process since it was announced by DeWine on Friday. He said it appears the county's Regional Planning Commission will be the lead agency in the county.
The $75 million comes from the national mortgage settlement reached earlier this year by the attorneys general with five of the nation's largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses, fraud and deceptive mortgage practices, according to DeWine's office.
The total amount of funding available to each county is based on the percentage of foreclosure filings in each county between 2008 through 2011, which is the time period of the settlement agreement, divided by the total amount of funding, DeWine's office reported. The grants will be awarded on Aug. 1.
Council also discussed a 22 percent increase in hospitalization costs for village employees.
Councilman John Fabian said the village is working with the third-party insurance administrator to reduce the costs.
Village Clerk John Angelica said the increase amounts to $53,000 a year.
Councilman Jack Brettell made a motion and was approved by council to reactivate random drug testing for village employees. It was noted the drug testing is required if the village receives Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money.
Councilman Michael Herrick said four dates have been set for free concerts at Aracoma Park. Herrick said the dates are June 27, July 11, July 25 and Aug. 8. Community organizations, such as churches, will be asked to set up booths to sell items during the concerts. Donations for the concerts will be accepted during the events.
Also, Fuscardo announced village crews will flush hydrants throughout the village next week. The hydrant flushing will begin at 11 p.m. on May 16 and May 17 and during the morning hours on May 18. The locations of the hydrant flushing will be announced by the administrator's office.
Council's water and sewer committee will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday, followed by a recreation committee meeting at 5 p.m.