Unkempt rental properties a concern in Willard

Peeled paint. Out-of-control weeds. Broken windows. Unpainted surfaces. Dan Christoff is concerned his property value will decrease due to the appearance of his neighbors' rental properties.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010

Peeled paint. Out-of-control weeds. Broken windows. Unpainted surfaces.

Dan Christoff is concerned his property value will decrease due to the appearance of his neighbors' rental properties.

The Willard resident asked council Monday to do something about it.

"The only thing that's going to fix this problem is legislation," Christoff said during the citizens discussion portion of the meeting.

He was referring to rental legislation council has previously discussed which would require city officials to inspect the exterior and interior of rental properties. If inspections failed, tenants would have to vacate. Furthermore, neither they nor any other tenant could move in until the the property passed inspection.

Currently, officials examine the exteriors of properties at various times or if they receive a complaint.

Christoff said he's lived in the same unit on Laurel Street for 35 years. The neighboring units have looked unkempt for the last 20 years and their appearance has grown worse, he said.

Christoff said the problem won't go away. "(In) 10 to 15 years, somebody's going to be talking to this council with this same problem," he said.

In other news, Willard residents can expect some thrills, along with the traditional bang, next Fourth of July weekend. That's because the city's Festival in the Park, which includes rides, will most likely take place that weekend instead of in June.

The festival would take place July 2 to 5, with the fireworks show slated for the fourth.

City Manager Brian Humphress told council the city's new ride company is only available that weekend. The city used other ride companies in the past, but they left for different reasons.

Council members embraced the idea of holding the festival on the weekend of the fourth, even though it would compete with festivals in Greenwich and Shelby.

"It would definitely strengthen our fireworks show," council president Michael Elmlinger said.

"Let's try it," several council members said, almost in unison.

In more immediate business, Mayor Todd Shininger encouraged council members to reinstate its trash pick-up program. City workers previously picked up trash twice a year, but the city eliminated it two years ago due to budget constraints.

"Personally I think it's one of the best ways to spend your tax dollars," he said.

Shininger questioned the need for a white goods and tire pickup, scheduled for Friday.

"I don't see tires lying around, I see junk lying around," the mayor said.

There is no charge for the collection of most white goods, but residents who have tires and items such as refrigerators and air conditioners must purchase a tag for those items to be picked up. Residents should call the city if they set out any white goods that do not require a tag.

In other business:

Humphress told council the city will hold an "After-Trick-or-Treat" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the city park. The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin with costume judging, followed by crafts, songs and dance demonstrations. Donuts and cider will be served.

Council voted unanimously to purchase a Grasshopper mower for the city's maintenance department. Meanwhile, the city will sell a 2002 Grasshooper Mower that is no longer fit for public use.