Warren Township officials looking at possible blight tax
Considering $10 per property per year
WARREN TOWNSHIP — Because of the increasing problem with abandoned, unsafe and dilapidated houses in the community, township officials have contacted the Trumbull County prosecutor’s office to research what would be involved to get a blight tax on the ballot.
Trustee Chairman Ed Anthony said officials want to do what they can to address the problem with the poor-looking properties that residents have complained are affecting their property values.
Anthony said he has spoken to Weathersfield trustee Steve Gerberry, whose township also is interested in pursuing a blight tax for problems in their community.
He said if placed on the ballot, residents will be able to vote whether they want to pay for the blight tax.
“The prosecutor’s office will let us know how to word it to get it on the ballot,” he said.
Resident Butch Elser of Rio Vista Road said he and other residents’ property values are dropping because of nearby properties with junk vehicles and trailers.
He said a blight tax of $10 per year per property with 5,000 properties in the township would mean $50,000 to be used to get rid of the blight.
“I think this would be a good thing to help clean up the town,” Elser said.
Police Chief Ben Harrell said he and zoning inspector Norm Ashley address complaints about junk vehicles by speaking with property owners, and noted there are towing companies that work with the department to remove vehicles when property owners do not comply.
Elser suggested the police department get a tow yard.
“We are in the process of dealing with the junk vehicles. Having a tow yard behind the police department will not solve the issue,” Harrell said.
Ashley said notices are sent to properties to have them cleaned up with some complying and others not. He said there is a nuisance property off Gillmer Road with junk vehicles.
Resident Linda Morgan of Meadowbrook Drive said some properties at Meadowbrook and Bechtel Road need to be demolished. She asked if funds would be available to tear down the structure.
Anthony said trustees are reviewing what funds are available and a blight tax would provide the needed funds.
Also, trustees heard from fire Chief Randy Daniels, who said the department is proceeding with using the fire station on North River Road as a training facility.
He said equipment and items will be purchased for the center. Daniels said he is seeking grants for the fire department to cover costs for the equipment.
“We will partner with other agencies in the area to use the training center. We can provide the needed training for local agencies and their personnel,” Daniels said.
Daniels said he hopes by providing training they will be able to recruit volunteers that many area departments, including Warren Township, need at their fire stations.
In other business, trustees announced spring cleanup will be April 24 and 25 for Earth Day.