Lake County Land Bank targets 60 blighted homes for demolition

Unsafe homes & properties on Land Reutization list

WICKLIFFE, Ohio - The Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation began razing three homes on East 300th Street in Wickliffe this week.

Neighbors there are elated that the three rental homes on the property, in very poor condition, are gone.

Attempts to get the landlord to repair the property had gone without response. Neighboring homes like the Gallman family  two doors down, had been in many heated discussions with other neighbors concerning their loss of possible property values due to the rental activity of the tenants and lack of property maintenance throughout the years.

"The property had some rowdy tenants and just bad maintenance. Nothing's been kept up so it's been becoming more and more of an eyesore," said homeowner Jen Gallman.

Executive Director of the Lake County Land Reutilization Corp., John M. Rogers says these are some of the first of 60 blighted homes targeted for demolition to help revitalize Lake County neighborhoods.

"Working with the Ohio Attorney General's office in the Moving Ohio Forward Program, moneys were made available to the various counties based on foreclosure activity throughout the state. And part of those moneys are grants, the other dollars are matching funds," said Rogers.

One home in Painesville has been an eyesore for more than year after a fire there claimed the life of its owner.

The former homeowner was an elderly man, and the home had been in poor condition for years before the fire. The family of the victim never did anything to repair the home, and neighbors said there wasn't any insurance on the home when it went up in flames one evening.

"It has to be the worst looking house in Lake County, it has to be. I've said I don't know if I've seen another one like it," said next-door neighbor Andrea Klinko. Since her garage lost much of its vinyl siding the night of the fire, she is elated that the home will be coming down next week.

"Yea! All of the neighbors here are going to be very excited. All the kids have been calling it the haunted house. The smell is horrible from the home and junk is still everywhere on the property," said Klinko.

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