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County targets ill-kept houses

Commissioners want to meet with area health and safety officials to deal with the danger of abandoned or burned-out homes left standing in the county.

Friday, December 17, 1999

Commissioners want to meet with area health and safety officials to deal with the danger of abandoned or burned-out homes left standing in the county.

Township trustees and residents have complained for some time about the potential of such structures to endanger the lives of children who trespass and to pose health risks because they attract rodents.

The county sought legal opinions, and now is armed with ideas, but the problem persists, commissioner George Patterson said.

"I suggest we meet with the health department, litter control authorities, the EPA and others and formulate a plan to deal with this problem," Patterson said.

Trustees, or another agency, might be able to clean up a property after referring the situation to health authorities, then attach that cleanup cost to property tax bills, he said.

The Lawrence County Planning Commission also has considered such a plan, and will be invited to the meeting, commissioners said.

Also Thursday, the commission:

– Agreed to Burlington resident Don Saunders’s request to use Burlington as an official part of residents’ mailing address. On Oct. 26, the U.S. Postal Service said South Point area customers may use Burlington, Ohio, 45680 as a last line mailing address.

Commissioners also agreed to write letters to businesses and governments in that area urging them to use the address.

– Approved the renewal of a Lawrence County Department of Human Services retirement incentive plan. The plan offers early retirement to qualified employees, and did not change from previous years’ policies, DHS director Buddy Martin said.

– Extended a fact-finding deadline for ongoing contract negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police until Jan. 15.

– Signed a bargaining agreement contract received this week from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3319B, which represents CSEA employees as well as janitors, courthouse and dog shelter workers. The agreement was approved by both sides this summer.