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Greene County Commissioners Begin Process To Clean Up Blighted Properties
Updated May 5, 2013 1:11 AM
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(BLOOMFIELD) - The Greene County Commissioners want to clean up blighted properties and is moving forward with drafting an ordinance that will assist in enforcement efforts.

Nick Schneider, of the Greene County Daily World reports, the commissioners, at the urging of board president Rick Graves, talked Tuesday about an increasing problem of dilapidated properties that are causing eyesores and potential health problems around the county.

He said the problem is growing in rural areas and in unincorporated communities that do not have town councils -- like Marco, Midland, Vicksburg and Owensburg -- to aid with enforcement.

"Roads and properties are our (the commissioner's) responsibility," Graves said in pointing out that he has ventured throughout the county with a camera and will bring photos of some of the key problem areas to the next commissioner's meeting at 6 p.m. on March 6.

"Some of these structures are beyond being used or lived in," Graves said in noting that some of the owners don't even live in the area.

He wants commissioner's attorney Marilyn Hartman to draft an ordinance similar to ones now being used in Linton, Bloomfield and Worthington that require property owners to clean up their properties, and if they don't, then the county could step in and do the clean-up work and then bill them or place a tax lien on the property.

Graves said some of the blighted properties present a health problem.

Commissioner Ed Michael agreed and said from an economic development and tourism standpoint, "first impressions" are important and the blighted properties are not a plus for the county.

"We're not helping ourselves by not doing anything about that," he added.

In other matters, the commissioners tabled action on the final annual appointment of the year -- the position of courthouse maintenance supervisor.
The position is currently held by Tim Carpenter.

The commissioners did not re-appoint Carpenter in January and conducted an executive session Feb. 12 where interviews took place between several applicants.
Graves said four applications have been received.

"I think this still may be up in the air," Graves commented.

The commissioners voted in favor of District 2 Commissioner Nathan Abrams' motion to table action on the appointment.

Carpenter, who has applied for the job, remains in the position, pending final action by the commissioners.

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