MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Health met for its monthly meeting Wednesday evening. Among the items discussed were two property condemnations.
The first condemnation was regarding a request by the Miller Township trustees to declare the residence at 4847 Weaver Road to be unfit for human habitation. The home was damaged by fire several years ago and had become dilapidated and unsafe. The owners removed part of the home, but left the remainder open to the elements and full of debris.
The property is owned by Richard L. and Lynn E. Shoemaker, who addressed the board. Richard Shoemaker told the board he had torn down the unsalvageable portion of the property and left the portion that he and his wife felt was repairable.
“The piece that was left, that we decided not to tear down, has the potential to be rebuilt,” he said. “The roof is good is good on that portion and some of the windows are broken out.”
Shoemaker said the contents of the house were kept dry by the condition of the structure, and said the debris spoken about is what was left in the house after the fire. He also said he had not had contact with the township after an initial meeting, which he said took place about six to eight months ago.
Miller Township zoning inspector Jerry Lamb was in attendance, and said the township had tried to contact Shoemaker via a letter stuck in his door. Lamb also said the township, at its initial meeting, had asked Shoemaker to board up the structure.
Shoemaker questioned the urgency of action He said there was a chain across the driveway and no trespassing signs on the property. He said the structure was far enough from the road that anybody seeing inside would be trespassing.
Board member Dr. Keith Plocki moved the property be condemned so that the matter would go back to the township and hopefully start a dialogue between the township and Shoemaker about the property. The motion passed.
The second condemnation involved a property at 25329 Millwood Road in Howard Township. The property consists of two cabins, a well house and other outbuildings, all seriously dilapidated. The owners are listed as Thomas G. Moyer, Frances E. McCabe and William Moyer, all of whom live in Florida.
Brian Benick, director of environmental health services at the health department, produced a letter from Thomas Moyer stating he had not seen the property for many years and had only visited it this year while attending a graduation. In the letter Moyer stated he was appalled at the conditions and would take steps to tear down the buildings and clean up the property. The board voted to condemn the property in order to send the matter back to the township.
Health Commissioner Dennis Murray reported a hearing was held in Common Pleas Court regarding a solid waste nuisance at 11337 Armentrout Road in Berlin Township. The hearing was to obtain further action against property owner David Proper for noncompliance with the original board order. Proper was given 30 more days to clean the property or face jail time.
A non-action item involved a solid waste nuisance at 6783 Johnsville Road in Hilliar Township. The property was foreclosed and sold at sheriff’s auction, with mortgage holder buying the property back. The bank and a local Realtor has been working with a local cleanup company, and it was reported the nuisance had been abated.
The board went into executive session to discuss personnel matters. After the session Murray reported action had been taken on staff matters in the board’s Help Me Grow program.
“What happened was that, due to the economy and the reduction in the grant funding in the Help Me Grow program, the board adopted three resolutions,” he explained. “One was to abolish one part-time public health nurse, one position. One resolution was to restructure one full-time case management specialist to a part-time position. The third one was a resolution to restructure an education specialist that was already part-time at 20 hours, and was being reduced to 12 hours per month.”