Covington Council to consider demolition costs

By Sam Wildow - [email protected]

COVINGTON — During their meeting on Monday, Covington Council approved seeking bids to demolish a house that the village deemed “structurally unsafe and a hazard.”

The reported owner of the home, John E. Longenecker, was given 30 days’ notice to demolish the property himself upon receipt of the letter. If Longenecker does not demolish the property, the village will demolish it and charge Longenecker for the costs, which will be assessed on Longenecker’s property taxes.

The 30 days’ notice has since passed, and the village is taking the next step of figuring out how much it would cost to demolish it.

“That doesn’t mean that we would tear it down,” Mayor Ed McCord said.

If the village did decide to the demolish the house, the cost would be budgeted for 2017.

Neighbors came forward during public comment at previous Covington Council meetings to discuss how the house, located at 137 N. High St., has damaged their home. According to those residents, the property is leaning on their home and causing damage to their property.

Last week, Village Administrator Mike Busse and City Attorney Frank Patrizio advised that they are working on this issue and are pursuing having the building demolished under Ohio Revised Code.

Patrizio provided notice in the form of a letter of the village’s “intention to demolish the house and buildings located at 137 N. High Street, Covington.” Patrizio, in the letter, stated that the village “has determined that the buildings are structurally unsafe and a hazard.”

Longenecker, currently of Laura, recently received fines from the Miami County Health Board for violations in regard to this home, according to Miami County Municipal Court records.

Monday evening, Busse explained that the health board has been interested in the village’s progress with this issue.

“We have been in discussion with the health department,” Busse said. “There may be some assistance they can provide.”

Also during their meeting, the council approved a number of resolutions in regard to the village’s new electric and natural gas aggregation programs, which Covington voters approved in the Nov. 8 election.

According to unofficial results, the electric aggregation program passed 68.6 percent to 31.4 percent — or 756 votes to 346 votes. The natural gas aggregation program passed 68.51 percent to 31.49 percent — or 755 votes to 347 votes.

“Just shows we did get the word out,” McCord said. “I think people made the right choice there.”

The resolutions passed Monday evening included an agreement for the purchase of village’s electric and natural gas aggregation program and the adoption of electric and natural gas aggregation plans of operation. These agreements allow the city to purchase electric and natural gas rates on behalf of those participating in the aggregation programs. They also establish an agreement with Supernova Partners, LLC, Affordable Gas & Electric Company, LLC, to provide consulting services to assist with the development and implementation of the aggregation programs.

Busse also commented during the meeting on how residents approved the 2.5-mill levy for Covington Fire and Rescue during the recent election. The levy passed 61.05 percent to 38.95 percent — or 699 votes to 446 votes — according to unofficial results.

“We’d like to thank everyone in Covington for their continued support,” Busse said.

Later in the meeting, the council approved the 2017 sidewalk program.

The council then heard the second reading of an ordinance to enter into a mutual aid agreement with Montgomery County. At their last meeting, Police Chief Lee Harmon explained that this is an agreement that the village has always had with law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County, but its wording was recently updated.

The council also heard the first readings of two ordinances to repeal and replace salary ordinances for the non-elected employees and Busse. The new ordinances would give those employees a 1.5 percent raise for 2017.

McCord also reminded council and residents that the Thanksgiving Dinner will be held from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 19, at the Covington Eagles.

By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336


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