CLEVELAND - Cleveland NAACP president Mike Nelson credits WKYC and 'The Investigator' Tom Meyer for the demolition of what he called the "worst' house in Cleveland.
"If it wasn't for Channel 3 and Tom Meyer, this wouldn't have happened. Kudos to Tom for being persistent," Nelson said.
The home at E. 100th Street and Garfield Avenue in the Glenville neighborhood had been condemned three months ago and was considered by Nelson and neighbors a threat to human safety and to property values.
Clevelander David Miller said his cousin lived in the dilapidated home years ago.
"If kids or anybody went in there, it would have collapsed. They probably would have gotten killed," Miller said. "I thought a strong wind would blow it away."
The home became Councilman Kevin Conwell's nightmare when council wards were redrawn. He had promised to have the house taken down by June. It didn't happen and Conwell blamed it on red tape and the legal system. In fact, Conwell said recently that he didn't think the house would be removed until late this year or early next year.
Following a report by Channel 3, Conwell said he took a lot of hear for the house still standing after he publicly pledged to have it demolished.
Mayor Frank Jackson tried to take credit for having the house leveled, calling it a collaborative effort between his administration and Councilman Conwell.
In truth, it was Conwell who held the administration's feet to the fire and expedited the demolition.
"I was jubilant," said Nelson. "The community should be happy. This is a great first step to revitalize this struggling neighborhood."
"I'm happy," said Miller. "Now perhaps they can build a park or something where the kids can come and play."
Within days of the demolition, a large hole created from the demolition was filled with dirt and grass seed was planted.
"I said finally, finally the process worked and a major eyesore, something very dangerous was removed," Nelson said.
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