Summit County admitted Friday it made a mistake tallying the number of vacant, abandoned and blighted residential properties in Springfield Township.
The county reported earlier this week, as part of a countywide survey, that Springfield had 542 such properties. There are only 275, based on the township’s investigation and county Health District records, said Jason Dodson, chief of staff for County Executive Russ Pry.
A worker made an error while putting together a spreadsheet that doubled the number, Dodson said.
Township leaders were unhappy about the mistake — the number was featured in an article in Wednesday’s Beacon Journal — and about some of the negative public reaction because the community has struggled in the past several years to improve its reputation.
“I admit that we have a significant problem and a significant issue to deal with, but it certainly wasn’t to the magnitude that was reported,” township Trustee Dean Young said. “As a township, we have been as aggressive and as active as any of the townships in seeking to deal with properties that are a nuisance.”
Even the 275 figure is too high, Young said. The township has identified only 218, he said.
The county asked cities, villages and townships to identify vacant and abandoned properties to help bolster its application for $3.78 million from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program.
The Summit County Land Reutilization Corp., the county’s land bank, filed its 251-page application for funding Friday. Overall, there are at least 4,628 vacant and abandoned properties throughout the county, according to the application.
More than 3,500 of those are in Akron. Springfield had the second highest total.
Seven communities — Boston Heights, Boston Township, Munroe Falls, Northfield, Peninsula, Richfield and Richfield Township — didn’t respond to the survey. Macedonia responded this week, saying there were 22.
The land bank board will use the survey results to help distribute demolition money to communities. Many municipalities, including Springfield, also have pledged matching money to secure extra cash for demolition efforts.
A copy of the county application is available online at: www.co.summit.oh.us/executive/dev.htm.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.