Possible resolution for blighted Leeper properties

There might be a resolution coming for three blighted properties in Leeper.

FARMINGTON TWP.

Farmington Township supervisors learned this month of an effort to resolve an ongoing problem with three properties in Leeper.

The three houses along State Route 36 in Leeper are side-by-side and belong to a single owner. The deteriorating buildings and unkempt lawns have been an ongoing problem for years. Neighbors have complained about rodents and other pests on the properties.

David Pavlock told the board of supervisors at its July meeting he is trying to buy at least one and maybe all three of the properties.

"At present, those properties are a public health concern," said Pavlock. "They are a safety concern and they are helping anyone's property values."

Pavlock said he was advised by an attorney the township could force the properties into judicial tax sale.

"Anything you could do would be a big help," said Pavlock.

"Unfortunately, the person who owns those properties knows how to play the (tax sale) game," said township supervisor Matt Sherbine.

"I'd like to get something going," said Pavlock. "It's a real mess up there."

Sherbine said the township continues to look for ways to force the clean-up of the properties.

"We hope to find out more very soon," said Sherbine.

Road conditions

While the news of the possible resolution to the nuisance properties came during the public comment period of the meeting, the board of supervisors also heard from Ben Ochs regarding the condition of some township roads.

"Our roads are bad and getting worse," said Ochs. "Some of those roads haven't seen a grader in three or four years it's like a third-world country."

Ochs expressed concerns about Gregory, Wolbert and Griebel drives.

"They've become flat roads with no ditches," said Ochs. "Let's crown those roads and open the ditches."

Township road master Bill Hollis said he working on the problems and plans to get to those roads soon.

"I'm working my way over there right now," said Hollis. "I'm trying to get caught up."

Sludge removal

Also under public comment, township resident Larry Bauer inquired about sewage sludge removal at the township sewerage treatment plant.

Citing a recent CLARION NEWS report, Bauer said recent sludge removal at the Strattanville Municipal Authority treatment plant ended up costing $162,400.

Farmington Township has been looking to remove sludge at its own treatment plant and Bauer said he is concerned about the costs.

Supervisor Chuck Gilbert said the township is looking into the project but no decisions have been made.

Strattanville's system uses a series of settlement ponds while the Farmington Township system uses drying beds.

Disposal of the drying bed sludge is expected to cost less than the wetter sludge from a pond or lagoon system.

In other business, the board of supervisors met with township legal counsel Christy Logue in a closed-door session for about 15 minutes to discuss pending litigation.

No action was taken on the discussion.