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New Franklin moving on demolitions

11/14/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

The board game Portagelakesopoly, shown above, is now available for $25 from the Portage Lakes Kiwanis.
Photo: Maria Lindsay
NEW FRANKLIN — New Franklin officials are continuing efforts to remove blighted homes from area neighborhoods.

At the Nov. 6 New Franklin City Council meeting, two new pieces of legislation aimed at demolishing four homes were introduced.

Council approved a resolution that allows city officials to enter into an agreement with Danmar Services LLC for inside cleaning and Ray Bertolini Trucking Co. for the demolition of 705 Highland Park Drive. According to the resolution, items will have to be removed from the interior of the house at a cost of $5,800, and water will be pumped out of the basement. The demolition will follow at a cost of $6,900.

The property is being cleaned up after a court order that allows New Franklin to place a lien against the property’s owner, according to the resolution. The matter took two years for city officials to finally be able to clean up the unkempt property, according to Law Director Tom Musarra.

Council decided to take time on the second resolution that involves the demolition of homes at 5885 Grove, 6437 Hampsher and 878 W. Nimisila roads for $15,300 by Ray Bertolini Trucking Co. The legislation uses Moving Ohio Forward funds, and city officials are seeking to clarify if the property owners can share in the costs to demolish the homes. The Moving Ohio Forward program awarded funds that required some matching funds from the city to demolish problem homes.

Council also took time on another demolition project, this one slated to remove a structure and slab that was built partially on city property.

According to Musarra, a garage was built without a permit and is too big, according to Zoning Department standards. He added that 50 percent of the garage was built on city property. Musarra stated city officials have tried to work with the homeowner to get him to purchase the land the garage sits on, but those efforts have not been successful.

Councilman Joe Parsons (at large) said the property owner showed “a blatant disregard for our code.”

City officials are seeking to demolish the garage and concrete slab, and have a judgment entry from the courts allowing them to do so. The property owner has filed an appeal in the 9th District Court of Appeals, and city officials are requesting he post a bond for the cost of removing the garage and slab, which is estimated at $10,550, according to Bertolini Trucking.

In other business, Council approved:

  • a memorandum of understanding with Summit County Public Health to provide regulation and/or services to monitor storm-water pollution and/or enforcement of regulations prohibiting illicit discharges to municipal storm sewer systems in the community for 2014-18 at a cost of $46,000;
  • an ordinance to amend New Franklin Zoning Code Section 800.01 (Supplemental Land-Use Regulations), Section 600.03 (Supplemental District Stands) and to amend the definition of structure accessory found in Article 14; and
  • the transfer of a total of $2,644 between funds for budget stabilization.

Also at the meeting, New Franklin Mayor Al Bollas invited the public to take a survey on the city’s website, www.newfranklin.org, which will determine how many people are viewing recorded Council meetings posted on the website.

He also stated the Tudor House has been decorated for the holidays and is available to the public for use. For details, contact the city at 330-882-4324.

In addition, the new Portagelakesopoly board game, based on the well-known Monopoly game and using local businesses, is now available to the public for $25. The game was created as a fundraiser by the Portage Lakes Kiwanis. To purchase the game, call 330-644-8967.

Bollas also noted he has received a thank-you letter from Norton Police Chief Thad Hete for the New Franklin Police Department’s donation of a K9 cage to be placed in the back of a police cruiser.

The next Council meeting is set for Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. for committee meetings and continuing afterward with the regular meeting at City Hall, 5611 Manchester Road.

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