Clean-up of Wilmington properties continues

WILMINGTON — Work continues to clean up properties in the City of Wilmington.

During his report, Mayor John Stanforth said 90 violations had been issued to property owners, with 40 having since been repaired by the owners. The remaining 50 are being looked at by the city’s Code Enforcement Official Mark Wiswell, and the city will figure out what the costs will be.

According to Stanforth, the city will then go and repair the properties and the costs will be put on the tax duplicates to get money refunded.

He also informed council that the boarding up of properties that have violated property codes has been going well — with one downfall.

“Since it’s been so successful we spent all of our money. We still have more properties to go and we’re going to have to ask for money,” said Stanforth.

The $15,000 additional funds were approved in an ordinance during the financial report to help the boarding project until the end of the year.

In that same ordinance, $5,000 was transferred from general funds to update codified ordinances.

According to Finance committee member Kelsey Swindler, this was for the Zoning Task Force.

The group, initiated by the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, hopes to update the city’s zoning code. The group is lead by RPC’s Executive Director Taylor Stuckert and Warren County RPC’s Zach Moore and will consist of 18 members representing various aspects of Wilmington.

Safety/Service Brian Shidaker spoke more on the Task Force. He said the kickoff meeting will be on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of the Municipal Building. They will meet the second Wednesday of every month from October to May.

“All the Task Force meetings are open to the public. I’m encouraging people to come to those meetings and invite others,” said Shidaker. “We want the process to be as transparent and as inclusive as possible.”

He said the website will feature the roster of members, documents, and other information related to the project.

“The site will be continually updated as the project moves along,” he said.

Also during council:

• During the open discussion segment, council member Kelsey Swindler wanted to let community members know that this is a safe and inclusive community and that there is no tolerance for hate speech. She wanted to emphasize this in light of recent events in the news and remembering the discovery of a spray-painted swastika here last year.

“I think sometimes we don’t slow down to say that because we want to believe so badly that it doesn’t happen here. But I don’t think any community is immune from these kinds of problems. It’s important to say it out loud sometimes,” said Swindler.

• Swindler, the Water Committee chairperson, informed council of the discussions during the committee meeting with Water Superintendent Rick Schaffer on the harmful algae blooms. She said every Ohio community has to deal with it some way if they use similar water sources, but Wilmington has the only particular toxin discovered. She said they were assured by Schaffer there was never any detectable level of algae toxin in the drinking water andit is safe. She told council they’re working on a master plan for the Water Department to handle the algae blooms. She gave praise to Schaffer and the Water Department for their work on this.

• Council approved a resolution accepting a $1,000 donation from Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy for the Wilmington Police Department during the Safety/Transportation Committee report. Chairperson Joe Spicer said that this money would be used for aspects of the police department that aren’t covered by city funds.

• The council also approved a resolution authorizing the Ohio Public Works Commission final applications and agreement for the Nelson Avenue Culvert Replacement Project. According to a letter from Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker to the council, the project is to remove and replace an existing culvert with a new box culvert.

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By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574