"We're a firm believer in the process." Jim Dvorak
It’s not as exciting as former Cavaliers star LeBron James returning to Cleveland, but cleaned-up properties and cash reimbursements are consolation prizes for Burton Township Trustees.
Burton Township will get $7,250 in reimbursements related to the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Grant Program within the next few weeks, trustees said at their July 7 meeting.
Since last year, the township has dealt with problem properties on Aldersyde Drive, Trustee Dan Whiting said.
The township has the ability to demolish homes under the state program, which reimburses local communities for removing abandoned houses, Ohio Attorney General’s Office representative Matt Lampke told township and county officials in July.
Whiting said last Friday, the news of the program incentivized one of the property owners to clean up his property prior to a lien being placed on his tax duplicate.
The property owner, Robert Mussell, who lives in Rome Township, had a 0.1-acre parcel in Burton Township that contained a 400-square-foot frame house dating to 1901.
The property was valued at $2,700 as of last year, according to the Geauga County Auditor’s Office website.
“Once he heard that there was a potential lien on his taxes, he cleaned it up,” Whiting said.
The other property, owned by Tyrone Hornbuckle, is a 610-square-foot dwelling on a 0.1-acre parcel at 14516 Aldersyde. It is valued at $24,100, according to the auditor’s office.
Both houses were demolished last November, Trustee Jim Dvorak said last Friday.
“We’re a firm believer in the process,” Dvorak said of the grant program. “It’s a great thing for the community.”
About $75 million has been allocated among all of Ohio’s counties to achieve the maximum number of demolitions of blighted or abandoned residential structures, according to the attorney general’s office website.
Conservative estimates place the number of vacant and abandoned properties in Ohio in need of immediate demolition at 100,000, though that number is likely much higher, according to the website.
Whiting said Trustee Ken Burnett spearheaded the idea to go ahead with the program, which is administered by Bainbridge Township Zoning Inspector Karen Endres.
Cherokee Demolition & AWD Excavating Services of Auburn Township performed property demolition work in Burton Township.
“Ken’s worked hard and did most of the work on this,” Whiting said.
The next step is for the township to scan their documents and send them to Endres for processing in order to be reimbursed.?Dvorak said he estimated the reimbursement check will come 30 days after the paperwork was processed.
“Everything’s pretty much complete,” Fiscal Officer Shelley McDermott said.
In other news, the township hired resident Rick Gruber as its newest zoning inspector.
“Him living in the township was one of the reasons why we wanted him,” Whiting said.
Burton Fire Department Lt. Keith Davidson said the department logged 23 calls in June and 346 year to date. He also said July 4 fireworks at the Geauga County Fairgrounds went off without any problems.
Burton Township Park Advisory Board Chairman Jerry Davis said they are also looking into naming two new board liaisons from American Legion Post 459.
“We’re weighing all of our options,” Davis said.
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