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Massillon focusing on preserving historic downtown buildings after 4 others are demolished

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Posted at 6:57 PM, Mar 01, 2023

MASSILLON, Ohio — Massillon City Council will hold a special session next week to examine ways to preserve downtown buildings.

The Health, Welfare and Safety Committee meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on March 6, was called by Councilman Jamie Slutz.

Slutz has raised concerns following the demolition of two buildings on Lincoln Way East that partially collapsed in January.

In addition, a few weeks ago, two vacant historic buildings on Lincoln Way West that had been deteriorating were torn down. A state grant paid for those demolitions, according to Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

"This is the heart of Massillon," Slutz said. "Massillon is a very historic town and we need to do what we can to preserve the integrity of the buildings downtown and in the future."

Slutz believes it's very important to keep a watch on the buildings, some of which are more than 100-years-old. While he didn't mention a concern with any specific building, he worries about the potential of another collapse if there's isn't proper upkeep.

"We need to get in front of things so we can prevent what happened from happening again," Slutz said.

Among other things, council will discuss possible structural or foundation concerns related to historic buildings.

Chief Building Official Frank Silla has been invited to attend. News 5 reached out to Silla Wednesday. He declined to comment.

Catazaro-Perry said having more money in the budget to hire more code enforcement officers would help. She also said two businessmen have made separate offers to buy about 30 buildings owned by the same man.

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