DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — At a Wednesday commission meeting, Dayton city leaders approved a $700,000 plan targeting removal of debris from homes that have burned down.

City leaders say this comes at the perfect time, with several abandoned homes catching fire this year.

Steven Gondol, Deputy Director of the Dayton Department of Planning, empathizes with residents who wish the debris cleanup process was moving faster, but he says this is all a part of the city’s regulations.

“Sometimes that is also frustrating for people because, like, this one has been here longer,” Gondol said. “But if we’re still trying to show that proof of service and we have five that are ready to go, we’re just going to go with those five.”

On that list was 9 piles of debris to be removed from locations mostly on the city’s east side.

One reason for the delay is the steps that officials must take after a home burns to find owners and clear insurance concerns.

Planners say this is project is a key step for the city because with the piles removed, it will open struggling areas to redevelopment.

“We’re excited for the commission support of these contracts. We know that the public, obviously, where they are located, will be grateful that they’re gone,” Gondol said. “What will be left will be a vacant lot. That obviously opens up the opportunity for potential reuse. But I think the biggest concern that we have and that residents have is just getting those piles out of there.”