County RDA notices some movement on blighted list

There has been some movement on properties listed as blighted on the Warren County Redevelopment Authority’s agenda.

At the authority’s meeting Tuesday morning, Chairman John Zavinski said, “These are the same old names,” noting that the properties have been repeatedly discussed over many months.

Solicitor Andrea Stapleford reported that the Wanda Miller-Truver property in Clarendon did not sell at the recent tax sale.

Authority member Terry Hawk spoke of a number of problems with the property, saying that it is useless without the neighboring Johnson property, it lies within four feet of Center Street and carries the same parcel number as Johnson’s. He added that the property wouldn’t be worth the cost of demolition.

“I don’t know where to go from here,” he added.

Stapleford noted that Johnson had, at one point, indicated that he would sell or lease his property, perhaps for back taxes.

Zavinski said, “I think we need to contact him,” and Stapleford agreed to do so.

Regarding the Emily Hecei property on E. Fifth Avenue, Stapleford said, “I had a very productive phone call. It sounds like they have a plan to move back in.”

She added that Hecei expects to have estimates for work on electric, gas and the septic system by December, and has spoken with a contractor about the roof. The owner said work on the septic system might have to wait until the ground dries up.

There had been problems in the past with the bank holding the mortgage, because even though her ex-husband was listed on the mortgage, he had not signed it, and it was not considered to be enforceable. Zavinski said it sounded positive, and the authority agreed to keep track of progress.

Stapleford said she had also received a call about the Bona property, 123 Front St. in Glade Township. The owner reported that the exterior had been cleaned, but Hawk noted that an email from the neighbors indicated that there were still vermin present.

He said, “I want to give him the 30 days he’s asking for.”

Stapleford added, “Thirty days and that’s it.”

Laurie Burdick, authority secretary, reported that the Passinger property at102 Cottage Place in Pine Grove Township sold at tax sale for $7,100 to Mark Saulo.

John DiPierro told authority members that he has been making progress on his daughter Anzietta’s property in Sheffield Township, replacing “about a dozen windows,” and making repairs to the roof.

“As long as you’re making progress we’re happy. We do appreciate your efforts,” Hawk said.

Authority member Jamie Steffan told DiPierro, “Let’s get together before next month’s meeting” and look at the building.

Zavinski said, “To summarize, let him continue so we can get it off our list.”

The John H. Filiatrault II property at 106 Hall St. was sold during the September tax sale to Michelle K. Hoover.

Warren County Chief Clerk Pam Matve said the authority hasn’t heard from the new owner yet. “Not a word.” Steffan said, “I suggest we table this until next month so we can find out what’s occurring.”

Steffan added that the building on the Jack and Jennifer Hackley property, 101 Hall Street in Sheffield, has been torn down, although there was still some debris on the property.

Zavinski said “Take it off our list.”

Burdick said progress was being made on cleaning up the Tonya Elletson property, 121 Farm Lane in Pleasant Township, and that the owner would keep the authority updated.

It was unclear what progress has been made on the David and Judyth Smith property at 463 Pleasant Dr. Zavinski and Hawk agreed to visit the property before the authority’s next meeting.

Charles Morrison, Pine Grove Township supervisor, said progress is being made on cleaning up the Francis Matsock property, 819 Cider Mill Hill Rd. in Russell. He said the owners started removing vehicles and bringing in a bulldozer to clear the lot.

In new business, Zavinski said it was time to re-evaluate the solicitor’s contract. “I think we all agree she (Stapleford) does a pretty good job,” he said. The authority members agreed, and passed a motion unanimously to keep her on board for another year.

Burdick reported that there is more than $28,000 in demolition funds and more than $4,400 in administrative Community Development Block Grant money remaining.