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Commission focuses on hazards

BURLINGTON – Commissioners are planning a program to remove hazardous burned out homes across the county, if statutes allow such a move.

Tuesday, August 31, 1999

BURLINGTON – Commissioners are planning a program to remove hazardous burned out homes across the county, if statutes allow such a move.

"We’re going to ask the prosecutor if there’s any way under Ohio law that our office can remove burned out and dilapidated homes," commissioner George Patterson said at Thursday’s meeting.

A request this week from neighbors of a burned out structure in Rome Township prompted the plan.

Residents have written letters to the structure’s owners and have contacted the health department, but need further action, commission president Bruce Trent said.

"We want steps to follow to help residents be free of the eyesore and the public health hazard," Trent said.

With one request to remove a burned out home in Burlington still moving through government channels, the problem is apparent, Patterson said.

If the county could take action against property owners who allow dangerous structures to stand, then the problem might be avoided, he said.

For example, the county could budget demolition money each year, do the work itself, then add demolition costs to the property owner’s tax bills, if the law allows, Patterson said.

"We don’t know if we have the authority, but if we do, we will draft legislation to get something done," he said.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Herrell commended Lawrence County 911 and the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service for prompt help during an accident that involved a family member this week.

"It’s a highly effective system," he said. "It’s like a fire department – you don’t appreciate it until you need it."

In other action, commissioners:

– Decided to check with the county engineer on the status of reducing the speed limit on a section of Paddy Creek Road.

– Presented Concerned Citizens of the Burlington Area with Ohio and Lawrence County flags, recognizing members’ commitment to volunteer service.

– Voted to check the legal ability to repair a damaged storm water drain running under an apartment complex near Brown Street in Chesapeake, and to check with the engineer on recommended repairs.

– Signed a $56,000 Recycle Ohio grant.

– Voted to receive and study a request from the Lawrence County Litter Control Program for an increase in funding in the county’s fiscal year 2000 budget.

– Set a special meeting for 4 p.m. Monday at the courthouse to discuss personnel and a legal issue involving the Lawrence County Airpark.