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Dayton approves $1.2M contract to remove several fire-damaged buildings across the city

A burned down house. The front facade of the house is still standing though badly burned and charred.
Alejandro Figueroa
A burned house in the Wolf Creek neighborhood scheduled to be demolished with funding from the federal government.

Dayton City Commissioners recently approved a $1.2 million contract to demolish several fire-damaged buildings across Dayton neighborhoods. The demolition efforts are part of a $15.8 million initiative to tear down about 1,100 blighted buildings over the next several years.

With this agreement, the city is contracting the services of CJ's Trucks and Demolition LLC to remove 58 fire-damaged buildings and “fire piles” — which is the rubble left behind after an emergency demolition following a fire.

The list of structures includes properties that burned within the last few months and last year, according to Steven Gondol, the city’s planning, neighborhoods and development deputy director.

Some of the structures are still standing but damaged beyond repair, while others are hazardous fire piles that attract pest and illegal dumping.

“It lends itself to just really affecting the adjacent properties and their visuals. For anybody who's living there, they're driving through there. It's a constant visual reminder of a problem,” Gondol said. “This one contract is an incredible step to take a huge chunk out of the total number of piles that we have out there.”

The neighborhoods the city will focus on include: Edgemont, Five Oaks, Miami Chapel, Santa Clara, Twin Towers, Old North Dayton, MacFarlane, Southern Dayton View, Lakeview, McCook Field, Hillcrest and Wolf Creek.

Gondol said the fire department has recommended tearing down more than 100 buildings, but that’s not cheap.

“The rate at which these are occurring exceeds our annual funding. So we are every year adding more properties to this list than we have the funding to remove. And so that's why this is a pretty big deal that we're given this kind of boost,” Gondol said.

The city plans to demolish several more buildings with money from its general fund and the Dayton Recovery Plan — a framework the city is using for how to spend the $138 million it received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

As for the demolition timeline, once the contractor signs the agreement, removal can begin as soon as early fall, according to Gondol.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming

Email: afigueroa@wyso.org
Phone: 937-917-5943