New Middletown officials want properties maintained
By MARY grzebieniak
Councilwoman Virginia Younger asked fellow lawmakers to consider taking action against poorly maintained properties on Main Street.
Younger, who was named in May to an unexpired term on council, is a charter member and secretary of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
She pointed out at Monday’s council meeting that the village’s zoning ordinance requires owners to keep dwellings “maintained in good repair.” She asked why zoning officer Dale Miller is pursuing residents with high grass but ignoring badly maintained homes and businesses. Miller was not at the meeting.
Younger pointed to several eyesores on Main Street, including a business that has a truck with a flat tire permanently parked outside. She also said some commercial property owners are neglecting their landscaping.
Many people use Main Street, which is state Route 170, as a route to Pittsburgh and she said the town is putting forth a poor image. She believes the village should be doing more to enforce the zoning.
She noted the village has churches and restaurants that are “beacons” in contrast to the dilapidated properties. She added she would like to see community groups make an effort to make the village “more aesthetically pleasing.”
Mayor Harry Kale said he will discuss the matter with Miller. He pointed out, however, the village is limited in the actions it can take.
Though it can mow high grass and put the charge on a homeowner’s tax duplicate, the law provides no such remedy for poorly maintained homes or businesses except citing them into Mayor’s Court. He noted that a youth pastor of a local church contacted him recently, offering help in mowing high grass. But Kale said, unfortunately, the village cannot legally allow the mowing.
Council also took these actions:
Accepted a $5,346 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s office for drug prevention. It will be used toward the wages of Springfield Local School Resource Officer Sgt. Kenneth Goist.
Accepted the resignation of part-time Patrolman Jason Lanzo because of increased duties at his full-time job.
Police Chief Vince D’Egidio also asked for volunteers to promote the 2-mill, three-year police levy that will be on the November ballot. If passed, the levy would allow the village to keep 24-hour police coverage. For more information, contact him at 330-542-2846.