Mahoning Land Bank Marks 600th Demolition

SEBRING, Ohio — ​Leaders of the Mahoning County Land Bank joined Sebring officials at an abandoned, blighted house at 846 N. 15th St. Friday to complete the land bank’s 600th demolition project.

The land bank has been demolishing houses since 2015 as part of a program to bring relief to neighbors and village leaders, who were forced to take care of abandoned houses and vacant lots due to lack of action by the owners​.

​“We chose Sebring to be the site of this milestone because of the major impact housing demolition has on a small community,” said Debora Flora, executive director of the land bank. “Sebring is in a lot of ways like a mini-Youngstown. It has a rich industrial history and has faced some challenges with economic development, much like Youngstown, and it’s leveraging innovative programs like this to bring important benefits.”

The land bank has budgeted for and identified 15 demolition sites in Sebring over the next several months.

“This marks one of 15 demolitions in Sebring, which may not sound like a lot – unless you live here and see the impact these projects can make,” Flora said.

Sebring Mayor J. Michael Pinkerton serves on the land bank board of directors as its small communities representative.

“When the land bank and community leaders come together to clean up blighted, abandoned properties, the results are impactful,” said Dan Yemma, Mahoning County treasurer and chairman of the land bank.

The land bank employed contractors and landscapers near Sebring to keep the money and community efforts local, officials noted.

Weyer Excavating, based in Alliance, completed the demolition work and Turf to Trees of Ohio, based in Sebring, provided the greening.

This 600th demolition highlights a month full of projects for the land bank, with demolitions scheduled in Sebring, North Benton, Washingtonville, Youngstown, Milton Township, Beaver Township and Smith Township.

The Mahoning County Land Bank is a nonprofit community improvement corporation that acquires vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent properties and makes them productive again. The land bank assists local governments in assembling land for future projects and collaborates with civic, religious and nonprofit organizations to create new green spaces and community gardens.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.