By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Township trustees have taken the next step toward cleaning up a Southern Boulevard property that has been described as a disgrace and an eyesore.
The township has obtained an appraisal of the abandoned K & amp;R Gas and Food Mart property, and trustees this week authorized Administrator Curt Seditz to work with the county prosecutor's office to notify and negotiate with the property owner.
Can't find owner
The attempt will likely be futile, Seditz said, because township officials have tried several times without success to locate the owner of the property, at 5191 Southern Blvd. and Indianola Road. He said he will likely ask the trustees at their Oct. 15 regular meeting to approve a resolution to move ahead with the eminent domain process.
If the property is taken, the amount of the appraisal would be set aside in case the owner should surface. Seditz would not reveal that amount.
With the help of $50,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds, the township plans to clean up the property and turn it into a storm water retention basin. The money will be used to clean land that may have been contaminated by underground tanks.
Aside from the contamination, four outdated underground tanks must be addressed and a fire-damaged building will likely come down.
Township officials spent months looking for the owners of the gas station last year in an effort to make them responsible for cleanup.
Officials have now turned to eminent domain to acquire the property, get it cleaned up and build the retention pond, recommended in a 10-year-old study that identified important drainage areas within the community.