County panel reports progress on properties

The Warren County Redevelopment Authority members reported positive direction Tuesday on three blighted properties, and little on three others over the last month.

Andrea Stapleford, the RDA solicitor said that Clarendon Borough council had voted to accept the title to the former Wanda Miller property, which had been transferred to the RDA by Miller after last month’s meeting.

Authority member Terry Hawk said there has been considerable progress made on Emily Hecei’s property at 2393 East Fifth in Glade Township. “Let’s keep it on the schedule, but she’s been making progress. Once the septic (system) is in, we’ll take it off the list,” he said.

Lorri Dunlap, county grants administrator, asked how the authority will know when the system is installed, and Hawk indicated the township sewage enforcement officer would be involved in the process.

Regarding the Michelle Hoover property at 106 Hall Street in Sheffield, authority member Jamie Steffan agreed to drive by and check on the progress, and Hawk said since so much has already been accomplished at the house that security and livability are the only issues left.

Hoover had purchased the property through a tax-sale, and has been renovating the house.

John Zavinski, authority chairman, said Dan Glotz, county planning director, spoke with the property owner at 121 Farm Lane in Pleasant Township, who said the trailer owned by Tonya Elletson on the lot had been demolished, but removal of the debris was yet to be done.

Zavinski also read a letter from Judyth Smith regarding her house at 463 Pleasant Drive, stating that she had two prospective buyers who were waiting for financial arrangements. To keep things moving, Zavinski said, “We have to be firm,” and authority members agreed to have Glotz post the property as blighted so there would be no confusion in the future. If the sale should fall through, the house could be condemned.

The final property on the agenda was Francis Matsock’s house and trailer at 819 Cider Mill Hill Road in Pine Grove Township.

Warren County Chief Clerk Pam Matve said she had informed Matsock in a letter that the authority was moving forward towards a conservatorship, and Stapleford said that would allow the RDA to put a lien on the property for the cost of cleaning it up.

Pine Grove Township Supervisor Charles Morrison said no one had contacted the fire department about doing a training burn on the house as had been suggested in previous meetings, and that Matsock wanted to move into the Airstream trailer on the property.

Hawk said the trailer falls under different Department of Motor Vehicle rules, and Stapleford agreed to investigate.

In new business, Dunlap brought a proposal to the authority suggesting that a program be put in place to gather “professionals to provide the RDA with… services needed to facilitate the removal of slum and blighted conditions,” including asbestos removal, construction cost estimator, preparation of demolition or rehabilitation specifications and inspection services.

She said it would likely be an engineering business that would provide the services, and the specifications would be used to bid out projects.

After comments from authority members, Dunlap agreed to re-work some of the wording and advertise the proposal.