The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

For the Lake Township trustees, an opinion by the Wood County prosecutor’s office on a proposed policy for dealing with blighted properties can’t come soon enough.

The township is considering a policy to deal with complaints about nuisance properties that is similar to one in place in Allen Township. If a property is determined to be unsafe and structurally defective, a letter informs the owner of the township’s intent to raze the building. The owner is entitled to a hearing but must file a request for a hearing within 30 days of the day the notice was mailed.

Mark Hummer, township police chief and administrator, forwarded a copy of the policy to the prosecutor’s office for review before trustees decide to enact it.

Including my children, five generations of the Reese family have worked and played in the old barn on my parent’s property — that is a lot of pitch forking and hay fort building.

When faced with a decision about the future of this incredible, historic structure, my parents made the decision in 2010 to hire a gifted Amish crew to give it a major makeover for future generations of Reeses to continue to work and play beneath the ancient rafters of this grand old barn. Based on the saw marks on the beams, the style and the roofing material, it has been estimated that the barn was built between 1870 and 1880. Think about how Ohio agriculture has changed since then!

My parents are the third generation of the Reese family to own the farm. My great-grandfather, Pearl Jay Reese, and his wife, Jessie Mae, purchased the farm in 1918. Here is more about the barn from the Hancock Historical Society.

Oregon block watch members want city council to pass a curfew that would address juvenile crime.

Several expressed their concerns at a Safety Committee meeting last month. Vandalism, vehicle theft, and trespassing were just a few juvenile crimes they said were impacting their neighborhoods.

“We have repeated issues with juveniles,” said Lori Render, a block watch member. “We have groups of juveniles waking up sleeping residents, vehicles ransacked, teenager mischief, and juveniles cutting through residents’ properties. Oregon police are limited in what they can do or say without a juvenile curfew,” she said.

“Disruptive individuals come from surrounding towns and cities because there is currently no juvenile curfew in Oregon,” said Render. Juveniles congregate on street corners, in parks and residents’ yards, egging vehicles and houses, she added.

Several blighted homes in the Birmingham neighborhood in East Toledo will be demolished thanks to a $2.3 million award to the Lucas County Land Bank’s Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) from the Ohio Finance Agency.

Wade Kapszukiewicz, chairman of the land bank’s board of directors, told The Press last week that the funds will go towards razing 230 blighted properties in Toledo, 30 of which are in the Birmingham neighborhood.

“Our experience, over the last five years, is that demolishing a home costs about $10,000. We can stretch $2.3 million into 230 homes,” he said.

Since last year, the land bank has conducted demolition and greening work under NIP. With the addition of the $2.3 million award, the land bank has now received a total of $11.25 million, the highest award per capita of any county in the state, according to Kapszukiewicz. Those funds have helped the land bank demolish a total of 200 deteriorated houses in East Toledo alone.

In the final days before the Nov. 3 election, Ken Gilsdorf found some of the issues he faced as a member of Walbridge Village Council would be confronting him as a newly-elected Lake Township trustee.

Gilsdorf, who was the top vote-getter in a three-way race for a seat on the township board of trustees, said last week that many township residents he met while passing out campaign flyers told him they were concerned about the parking of recreational vehicles in residential neighborhoods.

“The RV issue, parking. When I was going door-to-door I found people in the unincorporated area of the township were talking about that,” he said.

Village council last month heard the first reading of an ordinance that places limits on RV parking at residences.

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