• 57°

Proctorville police receive pay raise

Weight limit set on alleys within village

PROCTORVILLE — The village of Proctorville has decided to give its police officers an increase in pay.

Members of village council voted unanimously on Thursday to increase pay for officers to $12.50 an hour.

This will be an increase from the $10.60 some officers were making prior to the increase.

“We appreciate everyone who works for us,” council member Pamela Legg told police chief Bill Murphy and officers, following the vote.

A police funding levy was approved by village voters in last year’s general election.

The council also voted on the matter of weight limits on vehicles driving on alleys within the village, setting the maximum allowed at five tons.

Mayor Rick Dunfee also announced that the village-wide rummage sale would take place Saturday, May 4, followed by a village cleanup on Monday, May 6.

The village’s Little League parade is planned for 9 a.m. April 6 on State Street, leading to the league’s fields. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. and free hot dogs will be offered.

Dunfee also shared a letter he sent to village residents announcing these dates, as well as informing that construction of a new Taco Bell would begin in a few weeks on State Street near the site of the former Taylor Barber Shop.

The council and mayor also heard from Tom Schneider, administrator of Lawrence County’s land bank, who gave an update on efforts within the village to remove blighted structures.

“We’ve torn down five abandoned structures to date in Proctorville,” he said. “And we’ve targeted four more. As long as the (landowners) are not doing what they’re supposed to, we will continue to focus on them.”

In order to be acquired and demolished by the land bank, a property must be abandoned and unoccupied, with its taxes delinquent for one year.

Schneider gave an update on a home on Jones Street, which he said the land bank had been trying to acquire.

“We gave them what we felt was fair market value for the property and cleanup,” he said. “But they ignored us.”

He said the land bank had then filed for foreclosure on the property, but its president, Stephen Burcham, was required by law to give the owners a payment plan.

“They defaulted on that plan in September,” Schneider said.

He said that the land bank filed for foreclosure again and had a hearing last week, in which the owner was present.

The owner said the taxes would be paid by May 1 and demolition would start soon after, Schneider said.

He said, if this is not the case, there will be another hearing and, if things go in the land bank’s favor, they would take ownership on the property, which is condemned. This would happen after the 28 days required by law to redeem after the hearing.

He said if the owners redeem, the village will still have other options to get the structure condemned.

But he said, for now, the land bank is in a “holding pattern” on the matter until May 1.