There was a meeting this morning with the committee formed to address rental inspections/registration and code enforcement. The members of this committee are Council Members John Gonder, Steve Price, and Pat McLaughlin and Deputy Mayor Carl Malysz.
It was surprisingly well attended with an estimated 35 to 40 citizens. Mr. Gonder lead the meeting with an outline of goals and objectives.
The first item on the agenda is the hiring of a concentrated code enforcement officer. Resumes have been submitted and the individual will be hired in the next 2 weeks. The committee anticipates a period of approximately 2 months for the individual to become acclimated to the position and to begin to take action.
There were many issues addressed today. One of the main concerns was the cost of the inspections and the fact that rental inspections do not include inspections of owner occupied homes.
Of course another major concern is the problem with absentee landlords. Mr. Hartman, the building inspector, complained that it is often difficult to determine the owner of the property so therefore he cannot confront the owner about the problem.
It is my understanding that if the city needs to mow the grass, remove an abandoned car, or anything along these lines the city can place a lien against the property to be paid along with the taxes. If the lien is not paid the city can seize the house and sell it at a Sheriff's sale.
Many of the attendents expressed their concerns about the drop in property values due to unsafe homes, drug dealers, meth labs, etc. These are very serious issues that are not dealt with in a timely manner. The committee members asked for addresses of these properties.
In all it was an effective start. Hopefully this will be the first of many such meetings and maybe someday New Albany will be a safe and clean place to live.
Readers, if you attended this meeting please add your comments. There was so much information to give but I didn't want this posting to go on forever.