Land bank moving forward on demolition projects

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COSHOCTON — The Coshocton County Land Reutilization Corporation, known as the land bank, is moving forward with plans to demolish the former Custom Glove factory at 421 S. Fifth St.

The land bank acquired the property in April and is pursuing Brownfield Remediation Program funding from the Ohio Department of Development. Tiffany Swigert, director of the Coshocton Port Authority, said applications for the next round of the competitive grant are due July 1.

Certain preliminary work needs to be completed by that time. This includes a phase one environmental study estimated at $2,500, a phase two environmental study from $20,000 to $40,000 and an asbestos survey for $2,500 to $4,000. Work will be done by BJAAM Environmental of Canal Fulton. The land bank is also paying $2,800 to block open areas with a chain link fence.

The grant requires a 25% local match with such work being able to go toward it. Anything the land bank pays above the match would be reimbursed. The group has close to $150,000 in its coffers.

Swigert said a phase two environmental study would need to be finished if they would try to go after other funding or want to sell the property to a developer mid-project.

“Having the phase two makes this much more marketable to any developer that comes down the line. It’s certainly a good investment for us to be making,” she said. “Then you think about the opportunities once it’s a clean site for housing or whatever we’d like to move forward with, we’d certainly recoup that money.”

Swigert said after the preliminary work is completed the cost of demolition and remediation would need to be reevaluated. A previous project estimate was $1 million, which she believes is high as they learn more about the property.

The land bank is also looking into having someone evaluate the possible salvage of building materials, like sandstone and wood. It’s unknown at this time if salvaging would be worth the time and cost.

The land bank is also moving forward on demolition and remediation of a vacant home it acquired in March at 1802 Chestnut St. It was the site of the murder of Brianna Ratliff in April 2021.

Vic Allen Construction of Coshocton was previously approved to raze the structure, dispose of debris, fill in the basement and do grass seeding for $8,450. The project could also be part of the Department of Development grant and eligible for reimbursement.

The land bank has been consulting with Peddicord Rice LePage Real Estate and Auction on if any items inside the home could be recovered for sale. Janette Donaker, Coshocton County treasurer, said Greg Rice believed it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort to recover items, which are probably in poor condition and hard to get to because of the condition of the house.

Mayor Mark Mills said he would be present when Vic Allen starts demolition to see if there might be anything worth taking from the garage or attic. Razing should start soon. If not cleaned out, anything in the house would be part of the debris cleared and taken to a landfill.

The next land bank meeting will be at 1 p.m. June 6 at the Coshocton County Commissioners Office.

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