Richwood Village Council is trying to clean up blighted homes, though it’s not going how members had hoped.
During the Richwood council meeting Monday night, councilman Von Beal asked Village Solicitor Alison Boggs How is the foreclosure on the nine properties was progressing.
“I have not heard a word,” Boggs replied.
Council is frustrated that the process has been stalled. They have asked questions for several years as to their rights and what they have to do to clean up the village from blighted homes. A month ago, they gave Boggs the go ahead to submit nine properties that were delinquent in back taxes that are $1,000 or more. They asked Boggs to have some type of report at the Aug. 28 meeting.
Council was also asked about the possibility of having one refuse system picking up trash in the village. Village Administrator Monte Asher stated that there will be a survey submitted to village residents about their views on the trash pick-up. When surveys are returned, there will be open meetings for residents to voice their opinions. Asher stated that the process takes a lot of time getting surveys printed, and the time in mailing them and setting up open sessions.
West Bomford Street residents Jerry and Diane Belt addressed council on a few items. They have a tree that came down from a recent storm in their back yard and it is in the ditch. They called the village office, and an employee came to their home and said that the tree was the village’s to take care of. It is catching debris from Ash Run in their backyard. Asher said he would send employees to take care of removing the fallen tree.
The Belts also asked about a possible community crime watch and whether the village has one. Asher stated that they don’t have the manpower or resources to organize a watch, but that if several citizens want to start one, the police department would help where they could.
Council also approved a motion for Police Chief Monte Asher to advertise for a full-time officer to replace Officer Volak who recently left the department. Currently, officers have been working 12-14 hour shifts during the shortage of staff.
The Union County Commissioners and Sheriff’s Office have donated a replacement vehicle to the Richwood Police Department that is equipped for a K-9. Asher stated that the vehicle has fewer miles and is in better shape than the one the local department currently uses. Asher was grateful for the addition to the fleet.
Chief Asher also told council that with the help of residents coming forth with information, they were able to recover stolen property from a resident’s garage and return it. Charges were forwarded to the Union County Grand Jury.
He asks that people call the police department when they see something suspicious and not to put it on social media. The police can respond quicker when called.
Now that council has a Board of Zoning Appeals, a training session will be held on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at the village administration building at 153 N. Franklin Street. Board members will be notified.
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