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Austintown trustees seek residents’ help

Published: Tue, April 10, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

Staff report


Township trustees are asking residents for help with the upkeep of vacant and foreclosed properties.

Trustee David Ditzler said spring and summer are when the township fields the most calls about high grass and weeds on vacant land. He said the township does mow, but on a somewhat limited basis.

“We need you to let us know if there are complaints, but understand the township does have to budget and expend money” for the cleanup, he said.

Ditzler said when a property is put on the nuisance complaint list and the township spends money to mow the lawn or clean it up, a lien is put on the property. The lien, in theory, allows the township to recoup some of the money spent maintaining the property.

Ditzler said in the past year or so, however, Austintown hasn’t received money back on properties foreclosed on by banks because they were absorbed into the Mahoning County Land Bank.

The land bank was created by the county commissioners last spring.

At present, there are about 100 land parcels, most of them in Youngstown, ready for foreclosure, Daniel R. Yemma, county treasurer and land-bank chairman, said previously.

“We’re paying to have the junk cleaned up and put a lien on the land,” Ditzler said. “But the lien is being forgiven if it’s put into the land bank, and we get nothing.”

Ditzler urged residents who live near vacant properties to do their best to keep the grass and debris under control.

“If you’re willing to go over and cut the lawn of a neighboring vacant property, it all helps keep us from expending taxpayers’ money,” he said.

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