With the shell of a dilapidated house behind him, Toledo Mayor Jack Ford yesterday announced the 200th demolition this year.
Minutes later, a backhoe's claw tore into the boarded-up house at 314 South Fearing Blvd., which had been vacant nearly 3 1/2 years. Mr. Ford expects to meet his goal of razing 250 houses this year by early November. Last year at this time, the city had torn down 116 houses, city officials said.
"This program is about preserving and beautifying our neighborhoods," Mr. Ford said. "If left to decline, this trend could spread, so it is important to move in and eradicate these eyesores now."
It costs the city between $3,500 and $4,000 to tear down a house. That cost is then billed to the property owner.
Resident Tamra Dieringer, 33, whose home backs up to the dilapidated house, cheered as the heavy construction equipment tore into the wooden planks. "This is so cool," she said. "I'm glad."