Who cleans up?

Published 10:33 am Friday, August 13, 2010

BURLINGTON — A long-standing battle to get an eyesore out of a Burlington neighborhood has prompted a meeting between the county commissioners and officials from the county health board.

For more than two years neighbors on Howard Drive and nearby Charlotte Lane in Burlington have gone through a variety of government agencies to get an unoccupied trailer on Howard Drive removed.

Harriette Ramsey, of Charlotte Lane, who has led the fight from contacting the health department and the township trustees to the Ohio EPA, brought the issue again to the attention of the commissioners during their Thursday meeting.

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One of the neighbors’ biggest concerns is that the trailer was never attached to a sewer system when it was occupied by renters with raw sewage flowing onto the lot, according to Ramsey.

“Nothing has ever been done,” Ramsey said. “It has been a big problem to our neighborhood. Most have had to have their houses exterminated for roach problems. Nothing is being done. It is over time. Something had to be done.”

Solving complaints like this goes slowly because the county currently does not have a code enforcement officer with the health department.

Earlier this summer the commissioners sought an opinion from the county prosecutor on whether the commission can contract out the enforcement officer’s duties.

The prosecutor said the commissioners could not. That decision led County Commissioner Les Boggs to set up a meeting with the health board to determine how to rid the county of such eyesores and health hazards. That meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23.

“It’s not just you,” Boggs said. “We have had a lot of people call about grass five foot high with rodents in and out. As far as I know those meeting are for the public.

“I have a couple of proposals I’d like to submit. I assure you all three commissioners care about the situation and will see it to the end.”

The Burlington parcel will be on upcoming tax lien sale on Aug. 23 and County Treasurer Stephen Burcham said he understands that there will be at least one bidder for the property. The trailer is not on the tax records of the county.