Vacant houses to be demolished in Prairie
Two vacant properties in Prairie Township are slated to be demolished.
Prairie Township passed resolutions to remove homes located at 324 Mix Avenue and 330 Mix Avenue because of the unsafe and unsound nature of the structures.
“We first heard complaints about these properties in March or April of last year. It got to the point that the fire marshal declared them unsafe and unsound last October” said township administrator, Tracy Hatmaker, at the April 7 trustees meeting.
The township will pay for the demolition of the homes initially, said Hatmaker.
“Then the (Franklin County) auditor assesses the parcel’s property taxes for repayment. The cost for these varies. It can be less than $5,000 or more than $10,000 for a house, depending on circumstances,” said Hatmaker.
Hatmaker said the home owners will maintain ownership of the land, but they will lose the homes.
Hatmaker described the structures as “unsound and insecure and, as such, a hazard to the safety and well-being of the neighborhood.”
The home located at 324 Mix Avenue was discussed at the Dec. 30 2009 Prairie Township Board of Trustees meeting. Fire Chief Feustel had expressed concern at the meeting that vagrants would enter and occupy the home.
Hatmaker said the house located at 330 Mix Ave. was damaged by a fire on Feb. 11 2008 and never repaired up to code.
“We tried to work with the young men that had lived there, but they were apparently unable to hold on to the property,” said Hatmaker.
The process has been ongoing. Hatmaker said the fire marshal wrote a letter to the board in Oct. 2009 informing them that these houses were unsafe and unsound.
On Dec. 30, owners were given until March 31 to bring the properties up to code, according to Hatmaker.
However, Hatmaker said no property owner or other party with interest in the properties had contacted the township in that time to discuss their progress or ask for additional time.
Hatmaker said Feustel continued to monitor the situation. He notified trustees on March 24 that the unsafe and unsound condition of these structures had not been corrected.
“The parties that had asked for time to address the situation at 330 Mix had notified the chief that they had failed in their efforts to secure ownership of that property,” said Hatmaker.
Trustee Ron Ball said he drove by the homes the night of the most recent board meeting and nothing had been done in terms of repair.
Hatmaker said the date for the home demolitions is yet to be determined.