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Sat 10:55pm: Niles looks to Warren, Youngstown as models in fight against blight

November 16, 2013
By ASHLEY NEWMAN , Tribune Chronicle |

Coming Sunday...


NILES -- Bryan Williams moved into his home along a quiet section of the city -- Vine Court -- nearly 30 years ago.

He remembers chatting with neighbors during a time when there was a collective effort to maintain properties for the good of the community.

Now, when he peers directly across the street, at a home located at 422 Vine Court, the 55-year-old resident sees a problem affecting communities throughout Trumbull County, the state and the nation... blight.

"The families in this neighborhood all do work to keep their houses in order," Williams said. "It's just this one house. You look at this thing and it definitely has a dramatic impact on the value of all our houses along here."

According to Councilman Ed Stredney, who oversees the city's 3rd Ward, the story of 422 Vine Court has become all too common.

"The house is in one of those states where the owner is long gone and the bank has foreclosed while the thing falls into disrepair," Stredney said. "On top of that, the bank that foreclosed on this house is in North Dakota. They're nowhere near here."

Stredney said the city contacted the bank now in possession of the house six weeks ago about the deteriorating situation, but little action was taken.

Even if the house were deemed a public health nuisance and set for demolition, Stredney said each home demolished by the city costs taxpayers about $8,500.

Stredney is working to propose a vacant property resolution which would require owners of vacant properties being foreclosed on to obtain a $10,000 bond. The money would be used by the city in the event of the house falling into disrepair for upkeep or, in the worst case scenarios, demolition.

Similar legislation has already been passed and gone into law in Warren and Youngstown.

"Warren is just starting their program out," Stredney said. "We're kind of watching to see what changes they make and how things go over the next couple months, but we'd like to mimick our program after what they've done."

Read more in the Sunday Tribune Chronicle.



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