Out with the old, making way for the new

By Charlene Hoeflich

February 5, 2014

MIDDLEPORT — Tearing down dilapidated houses in Middleport that are unfit for occupancy or renovation — and in some instances, building new houses on the lots, all at no cost to the village — comes as a result of work done by Mike Hendrickson, Middleport’s building inspector.

The old houses torn down in late January were at 405 South Front St. and 238 Walnut St. The cost for tearing down both houses was paid for with grant money from the “Moving Ohio Forward” program. The grant funding came from Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office and its sole purpose was to remove blighted, abandoned residential structures.

The Meigs County Commissioners distributed the funds through the Meigs Housing Authority grants office. Denise Alkire of that office is credited with being very helpful in getting the funds for Middleport. Last year, the old house at 405 South Front St. was torn down with funding from the same grant, secured through the work of Hendrickson.

Both of the lots where the old houses were taken down in January are now ready for some new use, and both have had inquires about purchasing them.

Another house at 405 South Front St. was torn down last year using grant money.

Over the past four years, the village has made great progress toward improving neighborhoods.

The Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency has built three new homes in Middleport at a cost of $250,000 with no cost to the village, and Hendrickson reports that CAA will start construction on another on High Street when the weather breaks. The cost of the new one, he said, will be in excess of $100,000 and will be sold to anyone who qualifies for the loan. The CAA also has provided grant money of $183,655 to the village for the demolition of four dilapidated structures

He credited Alkire for assisting the village in accessing $27,800 from Dewine’s “Moving Ohio Forward” grant program. It paid for the demolition of three dilapidated structures that were a blight on Middleport, Hendrickson said.