Assisting Belmont With State Funds
Belmont village officials just cannot seem to catch a break regarding an old school building that needs to be torn down. It may be time for state officials to grant them one.
For months, Belmont officials have been attempting to find a way to demolish the old structure, which is more than a century old. The cost of razing it is far beyond the village’s financial means, because of the need to remove asbestos from the building safely.
Officials of the Belmont County Land Reutilization Corp., referred to often as “the land bank,” have attempted to come to the village’s rescue. They devised a means of using county delinquent real estate tax assessment funds, totaling $89,000, to handle the asbestos abatement.
But land bank officials have been informed the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has rejected the $89,000 plan. Instead, asbestos abatement work costing more than twice that may be required.
Neither Belmont nor the land bank have that kind of money. Leaving the old school in place would merely put off a day of reckoning — and leave an environmental hazard unaddressed.
Surely state officials can find $100,000 or so to help Belmont and the land bank take care of the problem — before it becomes an emergency. That should be done.