Edison Council to take action on abandoned homes

By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel

EDISON — The concern of abandoned and deteriorating homes came up again in the February village council meeting.

A resident asked about how long it will be until action is taken and a house near her on North Boundary Street will go up in a sheriff’s auction. She said they have mowed the lawn for six years and would like to see something done.

Mayor Patti Feustal said there is a list and plan to get something done on several houses in the village. Unfortunately, that particular property is not yet on the list.

Village attorney Rob Ratliff said that they can go to court as an “aggrieved party” and take actions according to ORC 3767.41 if they want to do something themselves. This code is for buildings found to be a public nuisance and it has specific steps to be taken. There are fees associated with this action.

Ratliff also presented council with a letter from County Prosecutor Charles Howland that has a list of four properties with seven parcels in the village with abandoned homes. They can now be obtained by Edison to either sell, or demolish the buildings on the property.

Howland said these properties have been subject to foreclosure for failing to pay taxes and assessments. They also failed to sell at two separate Sheriff’s auctions.

All Edison needs to pay is the court costs that presently total $4,591.50 and some Recorder’s transfer fees and Sheriff’s Office fees, which would be nominal.

Fiscal officer Bruce Seaburn said the budget committee already had allocated an amount for nuisance abatement that will cover the amount,

Council members voted to go on with obtaining the properties and will decide later whether to try to sell the properties at fair market value, or to demolish buildings on the properties.

In other matters:

• Village Administrator Mary Naviska reported on water/sewer income of $11,318 and bills of $16,031. She said residents can now pay online with “E-billing” or automatic billing.

• Sandy Ackerman said her committee has reviewed the budget. Her committee will need to work on permanent appropriations before the next meeting.

• Board member Dawn Salisbury asked about the possibility of having Mount Gilead take some responsibility for paving on the street going into the ball park, which is on Mount Gilead property.

• Chris Kneipp is still researching what is possible with the school property in Edison. Mount Gilead school board that owns the land is looking at several possibilities.

• Council approved a resolution for revised rules and procedures which Kneipp submitted.

• Feustal is looking into the possibility of hiring a part-time Sheriff’s Deputy to police the village. A possible contract might be for 20 hours per month for a part-time deputy.

• Feustal is meeting with the village mayors in the county this month. She hopes they can share ideas and some services.

• Council passed an ordinance fixing the number and wages of employees for the Village: Fiscal officer annual salary to be $15,025, payable bi-monthly from general fund. Street workers Base rate $9.25 per hour, up to $15 per hour. Utilities Clerk annual salary $6,500 payable bi-weekly from wastewater fund. Village Administrator annual salary $3,400 from wastewater and street fund.

• Council approved January bill payments for $10,456.18 and for February $2,940.02.

• The next meeting of Edison Village Council is March 9 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel