Progress seen on problem properties

Progress is being made on several of Warren County’s blighted properties.

In some cases where the property owners are not making the progress toward cleaning up, the county redevelopment authority is making progress toward tearing down.

Regarding the 2393 E. Fifth Ave., Glade Township, property of Emily Hecei, the members of the authority are pleased. “She’s demonstrated that she’s working on it,” chairman John Zavinski said.

They plan to keep the property on their agenda, but are confident it will be removed eventually.

Russell Volunteer Fire Department is working on plans to burn down the Passinger property at 102 Cottage Place as soon as the paperwork is completed.

Authority members are pleased with the reports they are hearing of progress at the Anzietta DiPierro property.

John DiPierro “claims new windows, new doors, were installed on the property,” member Jamie Steffan said.

Two members said they checked the Smith property at 463 Pleasant Drive recently and were pleased with the progress.

The John Filiatrault property at 106 Hall St., Sheffield, was sold at tax sale in the fall to Michelle Hoover. The authority members were not pleased with what they heard about the property on Tuesday – that its front door was hanging open, little progress. However, they said it is possible Hoover has not received formal title to the property. They tabled that issue.

The members talked about tearing down the Truver/Miller property at 10 Railroad St., Clarendon.

Although member Terry Hawk said they don’t have enough money for the demolition, he did make a motion that solicitor Andrea Stapleford take the steps necessary for the authority to pursue conservatorship status on the property. That motion was unanimously approved.

As conservator, the authority would have the power to improve a property – including demolition if necessary – while leaving it in the owner’s possession. The owner would be responsible for taxes, would have to contact the county assessment office to report any changes to the property, and would be responsible for paying back the RDA for its costs.

The Truver/Miller property issue is clouded because a third party owns the largest part of the parcel the blighted building sits on. Because no formal subdivision was done in 2008 when the former owner sold a parcel to Truver, both parcels share a tax identification number. That number is associated with the former owner.

“We are going to have to start treating him as we are treating (Miller),” Hawk said.

Member Pam Matve made a motion that was unanimously approved that the Francis Matsock property at 819 Cider Mill Hill, Russell, be posted as condemned.

“A month ago they were in the process of taking out the junk vehicles,” Pine Grove Township Supervisor Charles Morrison said. “That’s all they did. The house is wide open.”

The authority is short one member and is hoping to find someone, ideally from the southern or western part of the county, to fill that seat. Zavinski, who is the facilitator for the Warren County Intergovernmental Council, said he would ask supervisors at the Jan. 8 meeting if they know of a suitable candidate. Elected officials are not eligible.