BELLAIRE - Mayor Vince DiFabrizio sought village council's approval Thursday to initiate the third round of demolition work to dilapidated homes inside the village.
A total of more than 40 homes are set to be torn down by the end of the project. The latest round has 17 homes on the docket.
"This is the third round and we have 17 homes that will need inspected," DiFabrizio said. "We need a motion to give the go-ahead for the inspector to go through these homes so we can proceed.
Councilman Jim Williams made the motion, which was approved 4-0. Councilmen Josh Meyer and Jim Piatt were not in attendance.
DiFabrizio reported that a number of homes from the first two rounds have come down, including three on Guernsey Street in the last few weeks.
Councilwoman Lou Ann Bennett took time to thank deputy clerk Marla Krupnik for the time and effort she's put into making this project a reality.
Krupnik did the majority of the leg work, researching the targeted properties, discovering both the current owners and owners addressed and researching the proper channels the village had to take to initiate the process.
Krupnik also gave an update on some of what the village has ran into in regards to notifying the property owners, as well as how the village will go about recouping its costs.
She stated that the owners have been notified by certified mail about the impending demolitions. However, not all owners chose to receive and/or respond to the mail.
"In the past, by not answering, they felt they were pretty much off the hook," Krupnik said. "But we're taking it a step further. There is a notice posted on the house that the property is scheduled for demolition and now the ball is back in our court."
Krupnik explained the homes will be demolished and that the owners in question will be taken to court to recoup costs.
But instead of a lien being placed upon the property, the costs will go to the owner in question, including any other property they currently own.
"It won't be on the property (being torn down)," she explained. "But rather, it will go on them personally and the lien will follow that person."
It was revealed that a few property owners, including one who currently resides in Tampa, Fla., have agreed to have the properties torn down on their own.
If the village ultimately pays to have it torn down, with administrative fees and other related costs, it will be more expensive than if the property owner pays up front, out of pocket.
Meanwhile, sticking with the theme of cleaning up the town, Williams reminded council and those in attendance about Bellaire's community clean-up day set for Saturday.
The event lasts from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the first 50 volunteers participating will receive a free t-shirt.
Lunch will be provided to cleanup volunteers at noon inside the village park.
Those participating are asked to meet at the park fountain at 8 a.m.
The garbage being picked up can be dropped off at the service garage behind Gatto's Food Service from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Residents doing so are asked to bring a copy of their water bill or other proof of residency.
There is also a sign-up available in the park for the Adopt-a-Block program.
In other business, the recap from a recent meeting of the Bellaire Citizens Action Group was read to council. Included was a request from village council for use of the park to host the action group's next meeting.
Williams stated that as long as the yet to be determined meeting date doesn't conflict with any previously scheduled park activities or events, he was for allowing the meeting. Williams motioned to allow usage, which passed 4-0.
The third reading of two ordinances were heard. The first dealt with offering optional or limited health insurance as an option to village employees. The second dealt with holiday pay and days that would be observed as holidays for village employees. Councilman Jerry Fisher motioned to table both seeing as two councilmen were not in attendance. The motion passed 4-0 and the two ordinances in question will be addressed at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
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