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Trustees give second reprieve to ‘nuisance’ property

3/21/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

The Springfield Board of Trustees voted unanimously March 14 to abate one property and give another more time after granting them both a reprieve from demolition at the last meeting.

The trustees are using $381,000 in grant money, including $100,000 in township matching funds, awarded to the township from the Moving Ohio Forward grant program designed to assist communities in their economic recovery to remove blighted and abandoned structures. Springfield has identified about 225 homes under the program, and Zoning Administrator Patricia Ryan said the fund would help pay for about 30 to 35 of those homes to be demolished.

At that last meeting, representatives from the two properties, including 1147 Pin Oak Drive and 655 Junior Avenue, asked for time to prove the residential structures were worth saving from demolition under the Moving Ohio Forward program.

At the March 14 meeting, representatives of the Pin Oak Drive residence showed trustees that efforts were in progress to bring the home up to current building standards, and said extensive electrical work had been done and work on the water system was slated for the coming weeks.

The property is owned by former resident Jorge Castellanos, who is now living in New Jersey but wants to improve the home and move his family back to the area.

“They are making progress, and we don’t want to penalize those efforts,” said Trustee Dean Young. “A continuance [until the next meeting April 11] is merited.”

Trustees agreed to condemn the Junior Avenue property after receiving a report that substantiated numerous code violations and structural problems at the home from the owner’s structural engineer. The owner, the Lawrence Realty Management Co., known as Plymouth Park Tax Services LLC, had made outdoor improvements and had hoped to sell the property to another owner who would make the necessary improvements inside.

Trustees had expressed concern the property could remain unkempt for a long period of time. The property is now slated for demolition.

Trustees also agreed to initiate abatement on two other properties, including 1057 Oneida Ave. and 1026 Onondago Trail, not for demolition but for trash and debris, with the costs to be transferred to the property owners’ taxes.

In other business at the meeting, trustees approved:

  • a premium payment of $88,925 for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation;
  • the purchase of a multifunctional copier from Copeco Inc. at a cost of $6,196;
  • a grant of $3,960 from the Office of Criminal Justice Service for one new mobile data terminal for a police cruiser, with the township to contribute an additional $440; and
  • to advertise for bids for the 2013 mowing of township property, with bid specifications available at Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road.

Resident Elva Pounders, a retired U.S. Marine first sergeant and an active supporter of veterans, also announced the following support activities for veterans, with details available by calling the Veterans Service Commission, located in South Akron, at 330-643-2830:

√ March 26-29, 16 seats on a bus are available for a trip to Columbus for Welcome Back Vietnam Veterans Day ceremonies;

√ March 26, 4:30 to 8 p.m., Change for Change at Rockne’s on Merriman Road in Akron, with change to be collected to support the Ohio Women’s Conference, with another collection slated for March 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Cici’s on South Arlington Road in Green, where 10 percent of the proceeds will benefit the event; and

√ April 1, 30 beds will open at Valor Home, 1121 Exeter Road in South Akron, located next to the Veterans Service Commission on West Waterloo and South Arlington roads, offering homeless veterans a place to stay and help to find employment.

Also, the township is organizing a trip to Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington, Pa., April 16 at a cost of $25 per person, with $20 in free play. The bus will leave the Springfield Community and Senior Center at 9 a.m. that day. For details, call 330-733-6125.

A special trustees’ meeting took place March 21 at 6 p.m. to review the purchase of a new telephone system. Another special meeting is slated for April 8 to open bids for township lawn mowing services. The next regular meeting will take place March 28 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

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