- Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2015 02:37
By Miranda Startare
Carroll Twp. resident and champion of residential concerns, Maya Patch, addressed the Board of Supervisors at the Feb. 3rd monthly meeting concerning a decades-long problem property near her home.
The house, located on Carolina St. and adjacent to her property, has been in a steadily declining state for over 30 years, according to Patch, who regularly attends the monthly meetings to stay informed about the township – and to sometimes inform the Board of Supervisors and other residents about issues that she believes need to be addressed.
The uninhabited Carolina St. property has broken windows, no porch roofs, large tree limbs leaning on wires, wires entangled in trees, and is in a general state of disrepair, according to Patch's descriptions. Wildlife and rodents have been witnessed at the property, as well, raising the concerns of nearby residents.
Patch cited The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act, which is part of the PA House Bill 2188, in reference to the Board being able to obtain conservatorship of the house and property, and demolishing the house, but Zoning Officer Dennis Butler stated that the law, which was signed into legislation in 2008, applies to absentee landlords. The Carolina Street property – although in poor condition – is current on real estate taxes paid.
The Board isn't giving up on the matter, though, as Chairman Thomas Rapp says, "we know it's like beating a dead horse" – "but we're going to keep beating it," Vice Chairman James Harrison interjects.
The Board intends to take the case to the magistrate in its efforts to force the property owner to address the property's needs. Patch may be asked to provide testimony on the case due to her familiarity with the property's history.
Also at the meeting, the Board commended the street department for its great work with the snow and ice removal and salting of roads.
Supervisor Gary Lenzi said the street department "did a fantastic job over the past two weeks," especially since the township has been operating with two fewer trucks and two fewer workers – one has a broken wrist and one is recovering from foot surgery.
Residents were again reminded to avoid illegal usage of all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles on private property and roadways. Those in violation will be fined, and vehicles will be towed at the owner's expens