MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Health took up the issue of conditions at 3 Maplewood Ave. in Mount Vernon, which is owned by Patrick E. Cagnon, at the behest of the Mount Vernon Dilapidated Buildings Commission during Wednesday’s monthly meeting.
This property had been on the DBC list for several months and the commission had not gained access to the house. It obtained a search warrant and the Health Department’s Environmental Health Director Stuart Lentz accompanied two members of the DBC on an inspection of the house Dec. 8.
“We entered the house under the authority of the search warrant with the city code enforcement officer [Larry Fogle] and the safety [service] director [Dave Glass],” Lentz said. “What we found were deplorable conditions. There was a lot of household trash, some of it piled 3 feet high in the kitchen. There was food residue all over. There were several rooms filled with bags of old garbage. There was no water and no heat. The toilet was absolutely filled with feces and had not been operable for some time. There were holes in the plaster, openings in the walls and ceilings where birds and animals could come in.”
Lentz asked the board to declare the property a public health nuisance and to give him the authority to issue an order of abatement. That would order the owner to put a stop to the continuation of those conditions. The board voted to declare the property a public health nuisance and gave Lentz the authority to issue the order of abatement.
Lentz said these actions were to help the city with its actions against the owner of the property. He said it was his understanding that the city would go to court to force the vacation of the property and have it torn down.