Husted visits Zanesville, announces money to address dilapidated properties


By Staff Report

Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted came to Zanesville Wednesday afternoon to announce nearly $2 million dollars of allocated funding to combat properties that have been abandoned and neglected by their original owners.

The announcement comes following the diligent work of a coalition of numerous officials working together in their pursuit to help beautify the city.

Funding will go to raze and cleanup the Mosaic Tile building and property, adjacent to the Muskingum County Fairgrounds, and to redevelop Munson Elementary for needed housing within the city.

In front of a modest crown of officials, community members and the media Wednesday, Husted spoke about the work of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his administration to help address dilapidated properties around the state.

In total, 112 brownfield sites are being addressed in this budget cycle, totaling nearly $200 million dollars in allocated funding.

Two of those properties are located in Zanesville.

$120,000 was awarded to the Muskingum County Land Reutilization Corporation for asbestos abatement at Munson Elementary, a former Zanesville City Schools site. Built in the 1920s, the school was shuttered as a place of learning in 2005. It has remained vacant for 17 years and according to officials, is in poor condition. Woda Cooper Companies plans to turn the building into nearly 30 various-sized apartments.

The Land Reutilization Corporation also received $1,850,000 for the cleanup of the Mosaic Tile building, which was built in 1894. Asbestos and lead paint will be safely removed from the site before the entire structure is razed. Future plans for the site remain underway.

Husted said he wants to turn these blighted properties around the state into sites that improve the quality of life of nearby residents, such as housing, space for new industry or even simply parks for all to enjoy.

“You’ll see a place that has life and adds vibrancy to the community instead of a dilapidated property,” Husted explained.

Zanesville Mayor Don Mason, County Commissioner Mollie Crooks and State Representative Adam Holmes also gave remarks.

Crooks said she became an elected official for days like these where she gets to witness city, county and state leaders work together while also engaging their partners in the private sector to improve local neighborhoods.

“With these grant awards from the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, two majorly blighted properties in parts of our community that sometimes feel forgotten will be cleaned up, rehabilitated and enjoyed for years to come,” said Crooks.”

The razing of the Mosaic Tile building was a core campaign promise of Mason and Husted called Holmes’ involvement in the project ‘instrumental.’

According to Husted, work on both sites could begin as early as the end of this year.