UPDATE: Addressing Neglected Property in Wood County

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UPDATE 9/4/2014 4:50 PM

It's enough to keep people from moving into older neighborhoods and it more than annoys people living nearby.

Wood County Commissioners are ready to take action, as more community members complain.

Officials say it's a big problem in Wood County.

Once beautiful homes are left to rot.

Compliance Director John Reed says it happens for several reasons.

One is legal hold-up - family members fighting because of inaccuracies in a will.

Other times, it's just that the homeowner has abandoned the property.

But others suffer from this neglect.

"They contaminate the neighborhoods, they're health issues, so these are things that need to be addressed," says Reed. "We hope that the commission will spur them into action. We hope the property owner will still do it themselves. We don't want the government getting involved in this."

In four cases, they've been working for years to get the owners to own up.

Reed says he's waited as long as he can before bringing the county into it.

It's a final plea to get homeowners to step up.

The commissioners voted to give the homeowners a deadline.

If they don't take action by that time, the county will own the properties.

They'll clean them up or tear them down - an expense that will be returned to taxpayers when the lots are sold.

Old homes falling down and taking neighborhoods down with them.

Wood County is doing its best to deal with these dilapidated properties.

There's been substantial progress made at one location, while the commission is giving the owners of another a nudge to clean theirs up.

The Wood County compliance office has been working with the owners of two sites to remove deteriorating homes.

Among them, a former mobile home court off Route 2.

All but a few homes once on the former Hall's Trailer Court have been removed by developers who recently purchased the property.

"Progress is being made, the trailers are being moved out, the site is being seeded, and it looks far better than it did before," says Commissioner Wayne Dunn. "So there will be a turnaround that will be far better than when we did the turnaround a couple of years ago on Gihon Road."

The commission, meanwhile has given the owners of land on Hill Street near Core Road 90 days to clean up dilapidated homes on their property.

The commissioners last week asked the compliance office to give them more frequent updates on site clean ups.

It plans to do so on the Hill Street properties after that 90 day time frame ends.

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