WILMINGTON — West Main Street residents talked to council about their battle with a house and its roaches.
Sheila Krabaucher and Chasity Davenport, both respective West Main Street residents, went to the Wilmington City Council during the Thursday night meeting and told them about a neighboring house in the 1200 block which is concerning to them.
“I’m coming here today out of frustration and not knowing where else to turn,” said Krabacuher. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have good landlords but the property that is beside my residence is a very nasty, untaken care of house.”
She told council she contacted the owners of the house about the conditions. She said that the problem has grown to the point where the house is “severely infested with cockroaches.”
“My landlords and myself are having to pay for an exterminator to come out once a month to treat our house to make sure we’re not get severely infested,” said Krabaucher.
Davenport, who lives on the other side of the house in question, said they’ve spent over $2,600 in combating the roaches.
“We’re not talking about a few roaches, we’re not talking about a hundred roaches. We’re talking about thousands upon thousands of roaches,” said Davenport.
Krabaucher said they have contacted the Health Department multiple times, and the Building Department, and told them that parts of the house were falling apart. But according to her, the Health Department can’t force the owner to do anything.
She told council that she and husband had to spray the sides of their house regularly to keep themselves from getting heavily infested.
“This was to the point where, in our nightly ritual, with a flashlight in one hand, and bug spray in the other, we spray the nasty house because that’s where all the bugs are at,” said Krabaucher.
She told council this got to the point where police responded to their area on Wednesday on reports of “suspicious activity.” She read the report the responding officers wrote, which indicated they observed roaches “all over the house and porch” and that one had to be removed from the neck of one of the officers — and three off his pants leg.
The officers advised them that a report will be sent to the Health Department and that they should speak at the next council meeting. According to her, one of the officers said, “I have never seen so many cockroaches in my life” and “this is unhealthy” and they had body camera footage.
“To have bugs coming from this house yearly and nothing ever being done I feel that there needs to be something done other than the Health Department saying they can’t force him to have it professionally exterminated,” said Krabaucher.
Both speakers told of health concerns they had and incidents where they found the bugs in their house. Krabaucher recalled finding one crawling in her child’s bed and Davenport said one was discovered in her husband’s food.
Council member Joe Spicer assured them that they were looking into this ordeal, saying the city’s code enforcers were investigating and they’ll follow up with them on it. Council President Randy Riley said that he hopes this gets taken care and he said he wants the speakers to come to the Nov. 1 council meeting and give an update on the situation.
Also during council:
• During the Asset, Acquisition and Use committee report, the council approved two resolutions. The first allowed Parks and Rec Director Jermaine Isaac to apply for a grant for the Ohio Public Works Commission Clean Ohio Funds Green Space Conservation. This would give financial assistance for green space preservation and improvements for recreation purposes. The second resolution accepted the donation of 10.689 acres of property at Rombach Avenue by LT Land Development.
• Water Committee chairwoman Kelsey Swindler gave a quick update on issues such as the algae bloom, intakes at Caesar Creek Lake and the pumps at the creek. Swindler advised that Water Plant Superintendent Rick Schaffer and the crew have managed to resolve the issues without any outside resources.
• Council did the first reading of an ordinance that would authorize the accepting of an easement “for access and utility purposes from David L. Hartley” as part of the Hawley Avenue rail crossing closure project during the Safety/Service Director’s report. They also approved a resolution adopting preliminary legislation for crack sealing portions of State Route 73.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574