Thursday, April 25th, 2013
By Eric Adams
Home has one more chance
COLDWATER - A handful of Walnut Street residents upset with a neighboring property expressed grievances during the Coldwater Board of Appeals meeting Wednesday evening.
Several structural and sanitary issues have been reported with the home at 315 W. Walnut St. since July 2008.
During a board of appeals meeting held Oct. 24, owner Joe Lasko of Arkansas was given 30 days to sell the then-vacant structure and/or 60 days to complete repairs. The home needs new plumbing and electrical and heating systems, along with extensive renovations to walls and floors.
Appeals board members, until Tuesday evening, were under the impression Lasko had satisfied the first stipulation. Tenants Corey and Shawna Gallimore currently occupy the house, and it was presumed they sought eventual ownership.
A letter Lasko sent to neighbors Jared and Deanna Springer on April 4 said the home's current occupants have no intentions to buy.
"They're not leasing to purchase, not assuming the mortgage, just renting the property," Jared Springer told appeals board members.
"This is the first any of us knew that the lease purchase is null and void," board member and real estate agent Alice Ahrens said. "That changes the whole game."
The Springers said very few repairs have been made and that debris from the property routinely blows into their yard due to the tenants' throwing trash out the second story window.
"There are dirty diapers that came over into our yard from that property," Jared Springer said. "There were feminine products I had to clean out of my yard on three separate occasions."
"Would anybody on the board like to live in my house for a while?" neighbor Sharon Zizelman added.
An estimate conducted in October by village manager Eric Thomas, part-time police investigator Kip Wright and police chief Jason Miller put repair costs at $72,000.
On May 21, 2012, Homan Real Estate of Coldwater, at the direction of Thomas, appraised the property at $12,000. During the appraisal the agency declared the home "beyond repair."
Lasko was given the opportunity prior to the Oct. 24 board of appeals meeting to have the structure razed via the Moving Ohio Forward Grant, but he denied. He maintains the house is still worth salvaging.
A separate garage structure was to be torn down immediately following the October meeting but still stands and is now half-collapsed. The back porch of the home also is heavily collapsed, with one of two beams missing.
"I don't expect them to police (the appearance of) it, but it is a safety issue," Deanna Springer said. "If it is gonna make the value of my property go down, then obviously I am concerned."
Jared Springer told the board he and his wife have talked about relocating if the situation does not improve but have received heavily lowered estimates on their home due to its proxy to the dilapidated property.
The board of appeals now will contact Lasko and give him the opportunity to meet on or before May 11. At that point, a walk-through of the property will be conducted, and if the condition remains unimproved, eviction and condemnation will be pursued.
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