City cracking down on long neglected properties

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette The property at 852 West Third Street with broken windows, pigeons flying inside and peeling paint at is just one of several blight properties in the city.

Arrest warrants are going to be written to bring in 12 owners of blighted residential properties in the city, all of whom have ignored repeated warnings and failed to pay citations, Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said Monday.

These individuals have repeatedly ignored warnings to repair their blighted properties and failed to pay numerous citations. One property owner’s unattended repairs and unpaid citations date back to 2004, he said.

Campana held a brief conference with the Sun-Gazette on the matter after speaking with neighborhood watch groups.

He said he has instructed Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator, to begin the process of contacting the county constables who work out of the county sheriff’s office.

He said he considered these properties to be shameful and that they are devaluing neighborhoods.

The properties are: 830 Park Ave., 1534 Memorial Ave., 823 Hepburn St., 852 W. Third St., 415 High St., 743 Park Ave., 919 Nicely Lane, 1517 Memorial Ave., 1516 Mount Carmel St., 510 Rural Ave., 2237 W. Fourth St. and 2023 Trenton Ave.

Several owners live out-of-state, including California, Ohio, New York and Tennessee.

Leading the list with 14 unpaid citations is 823 Hepburn St.

Names of the individuals were not provided by the mayor or codes on Monday.

Each codes citation can carry a fine of $1,000, according to Gerardi.

Condemnation notices have been on the property at 415 High St. for 14 years, the mayor said.

Blighted properties are reviewed each month by the board which meets today.

The board hears a report from Gerardi on what properties have broken windows, holes in the roofs, overhanging trees, high grass and weeds and which owners have not complied with notices or paid citations.

“It isn’t fair to law-abiding residents and landlords who keep their properties up to code, and it leads to more crime,” Campana said.