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More blighted homes in Copley set for demolition

9/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Three more dilapidated homes in Copley Township were approved for demolition at the Board of Trustees’ Sept. 4 meeting.

Those abandoned structures, at 3803 and 3815 Hemphill Road and 1357 Aberth Drive, will be removed as part of the Moving Ohio Forward demolition program, according to Matt Springer, the township’s planning director.

He said despite certified mail sent to the three property owners, he was unsuccessful in contacting or notifying the property owners and doesn’t anticipate waivers being signed for the demolitions.

The township has followed procedures specified in the Ohio Revised Code for notifying absentee landowners about dilapidated structures, he added.

Half the township’s costs incurred will be entered on tax duplicates and become liens on the properties, according to resolutions approved by trustees.

During the past several months, seven properties in the township — three homes within a half-mile of each other on Copley Road and four on Kibler Road — have already been razed through the program.

Trustees also approved the cleanup of vegetation and/or debris from 1440 Karl Drive. Trustee Helen Humphrys said the homeowner signed for a certified letter mandating the property be cleaned up. The costs will be assessed to the property owner through liens recorded on their property tax duplicates, according to a resolution approved by trustees.

White Pond Drive resident George Morris approached trustees with complaints about the unkempt state of his neighbor’s property in the 1800 block of Copley Road.

Trustees said they shared Morris’ concern and had been following up on previous complaints.

“It’s a gateway into the township,” said Humphrys.

Trustees asked for copies of photos Morris had taken depicting scenes including a large pile of discarded tires and broken garage windows. Trustee Dale Panovich noted the township’s attorney has been in contact with Certified Oil, which owns the property.

“They seem receptive to our idea of tearing it down,” she said.

In other business, trustees approved paying $6,700 to Fallsway Equipment to purchase three lift gates and have them installed on Service Department pickup trucks. The gates will help prevent injuries when township employees are lifting heavy equipment into the trucks, said Service Director Mark Mitchell.

The township was awarded the approved amount through an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation safety intervention grant, and along with the local share of $2,200, the total cost of the gates was $8,900, said Mitchell.

In other news, the crew that put together specifications for the township’s new fire engine will soon take an inspection trip to Appleton, Wis., to view the completed truck, according to Fire Chief Michael Benson. Then, sometime in the next couple of weeks, the manufacturer is expected to deliver the vehicle to Copley, he added.

Also at the meeting, trustees:

  • agreed to request an estimate from the city of Akron for a water line extension on Misty Lane;
  • noted they are continuing to look at plans for the future police station;
  • accepted a donation from the Ohio Auditor’s Office for a Dell computer, keyboard and mouse;
  • read a letter from Copley United Methodist Church regarding their agreement with the township for a shared parking lot. The township pays an annual fee of $850, and the church is requesting an increase in 2014 to $1,000, noted Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall; and
  • discussed requiring coaches and referees using township property to show proof of training in recognizing head injuries and concussions.

In calendar items:

√ annual brush collection will begin Sept. 9 for residents east of Cleveland-Massillon Road and Sept. 16 for residents west of Cleveland-Massillon Road. Brush is to be placed unbundled curbside by 7 a.m. on the Monday of the collection week. Residents with questions can call the Service Department at 330-666-0365; and

√ trick-or-treat in the township is set for Oct. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m., in concordance with Fairlawn’s and Bath’s beggars’ nights.

Trustees went into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss compensation for nonbargaining township employees; hiring in the Service Department; and compensation and hiring in the Fire Department.

Following that, trustees agreed to increase the assistant fire chief’s salary to $86,800 retroactive to Jan. 1, to adjust the pay rate to reflect the 2011 promotion from captain to assistant fire chief, an increase of about $5,561, according to Marshall.

The board’s next regular meeting will take place Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Copley Township offices, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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