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Trustees discuss action for cleaning up private property

5/22/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Julia Kazar

The Boston Board of Trustees continued discussion of clearing the Bob Pruitt property during the May 14 meeting.

John Trgo, of Interstate Towing and Transport Specialists, was on hand at the meeting to discuss the next steps of action in clearing the property. He said one of the first things to be done is for the township to obtain an order from a judge for the disposal of the vehicles once they are removed from the property.

“My concern, I’m sure your concern, everyone in the room’s concern, is liabilities. We need to have something so the township isn’t liable, [the] police department isn’t liable and we’re not liable,” Trgo said. “We, and when I say ‘we’ I mean everyone in the room, don’t want to be held responsible for any kind of property damage.”

Once the order has been approved, Trgo said the first thing they should concentrate on is removing the cars that are known to be owned by Pruitt. Once Pruitt has been given an opportunity to once again remove the cars himself, and this has been documented for liability reasons, Trgo said he may step in and remove them.

For the vehicles not registered to Pruitt, the trustees must send registered mail to the last known address of the last registered owner of the vehicle and give them an opportunity to take care of the vehicle themselves, according to Trgo. If no action is taken after a given time period, then Trgo will be able to remove the vehicles.

Trgo also informed trustees he is unsure of the condition of these vehicles and won’t be able to tow them out with a conventional tow truck, but instead will have to use a piece of equipment to lift the cars up or equipment to drag them out. Trgo said the vehicles may come apart in two or three pieces due to how long they have been sitting on the property, and potentially cause more damage.

Removing the trailers is a bigger problem, he said, because the contents are still unknown.

“We have to get in there and see what’s in these trailers,” Trgo said.

Depending on what is found when the trailers are opened, the fire department or hazmat officials may have to be called in to deal with it, Trgo said.

“It could turn into a catastrophe, depending on what it is,” he said. “There’s no way we can take a chance on this.”

Trustees also need to determine the owners of the property inside the trailers before they can take action to have the trailers removed, according to Trgo, to avoid any possible liability.

Before the trailers are even opened, however, trustees need to obtain another court order giving them permission to take such actions.

Trustee Jerry Ritch asked Trgo that once all of the legal issues are handled, what the next step for Interstate Towing would be.

Trgo said he will go in and view the property, figure out what equipment will be needed and put an estimate of the cost together for trustees to review.

In other business:

  • Trustee Randy Bergdorf informed trustees the sign for the front of the Boston Township Hall building is being manufactured.
  • Road Superintendent Tim Tesmer informed trustees the Road Department will cut down five trees on township property located at 1755 Main St. at no cost to the township. The trees are dying from ash borer disease.

The next Boston Board of Trustees meeting will be May 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the administrative offices at Boston Township Hall, located at the corner of Main Street and Riverview Road in Peninsula.

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