No new blight reported to county board

There were no new blighted properties to report to the Warren County Blight Review Committee on Thursday morning, but there was some first-of-the-year housekeeping to be done.

Chairman Paul Pascuzzi said that Joe Scully, Glade Township supervisor, was back on the committee and Charles Morrison, Pine Grove Township supervisor, has been appointed to replace Chuck Barone.

The committee voted to retain Pascuzzi as chairman, David Wholeben as vice chairman and Morrison as secretary.

Pascuzzi noted that the committee by-laws specified terms for members, and Morrison, Scully and Warren County Commissioner John Eggleston’s terms would run until January 2016.

“We do not have any pending blighted properties, and we do not have any submitted properties,” Pascuzzi said. “As far as I know, none are coming our way.”

He added that two properties in Sheffield Township had notices filed, but after letters were sent notifying owners, the owners satisfied township supervisors that conditions would be rectified.

Scully said as far as Glade Township goes, “We make an effort (to correct a situation) before bringing it to this committee.”

Eggleston said he would like to see a property tax freeze if someone were to rehabilitate a blighted property and have it remain frozen until the house was sold. He said that would be an incentive for a young couple to fix up their first house, and remove properties from the list. He admitted, however, that it would be difficult, if not impossible to accomplish this.

John Zavinski, Warren County Redevelopment Authority chairman, updated the committee on nine properties that remain on the RDA’s list.

The Wanda Miller/Truver property still is a cause for concern as the property is actually three separate parcels. The property has been on the list “since day one,” Zavinski said.

He said that if the RDA decided to demolish it, they now have access from an adjoining property. He also noted that the RDA was starting the procedure to establish a conservatorship.

Pascuzzi suggested the RDA get an estimate from a contractor for demolition costs. He also said that the property was identified by the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Department as the biggest risk in town.

Zavinski said the efforts on the Emily Hecei property on E. Fifth Avenue in Glade Township have paid off, as the owner’s mortgage has been written off as uncollectible, and she is in the process of fixing up the place.

Pascuzzi again made a suggestion that the township have a code enforcement officer “take a look at the property to see what is required to bring the property up to code. It’s in her best interest to know.”

He also suggested a similar approach to the Anzietta DiPierro building in Tiona.

He also noted that no one in the meeting was qualified to determine exactly what was needed on any given property, and code enforcement officials could write a report so that everyone involved would have the information they need.

Scully said that he would bring up to the supervisors at their meeting next week.

Zavinski reported that the Front Street property had been tabled, as was the Elletson property on Farm Lane in Pleasant Township, as there was progress in cleaning it up.

There was a new wrinkle in the John F. Filiatrault II property in Sheffield. He had signed off on the deed, but as things turned out, he never was the owner.

Some work has apparently been done on the David and Judyth Smith property on Pleasant Drive, but Zavinski said he was unsure of how much progress had been made.

Scully asked committee members if they had ever considered joining forces with the city blighted committee, and they agreed to think about it. Eggleston said that he wouldn’t have a problem with that idea.