Troublesome Lisbon building heads to sheriff’s sale

LISBON – The downtown building village council is worried may collapse is scheduled to be auctioned at a delinquent property tax sale on Tuesday morning.

The building located at the corner of South Market Street and South Park Avenue is home to Sweet Jane’s restaurant on the corner and the Happy Clipper II hair salon next door on South Park.

Councilman Joe Morenz expressed concern about the building’s condition during the June meeting after discovering a lower corner of the brick structure had begun to collapse, leaving about a foot-long hole in the side. Since then, a brick was seen laying in another location in the middle of the sidewalk along South Market Street.

Morenz believes the building, which was likely constructed well more than 100 years ago, posed a safety hazard, and if left unattended could collapse like the historic McCook House did more than 10 years ago,

The zoning department was supposed to approach the building owners, Gary and Christina Hamilton of Canfield, but learned the property was the subject of a property tax foreclosure action filed last year by the county treasurer’s office.

“From my understanding there was nothing we can do because the property is in foreclosure,” said village zoning secretary Alisa Gostey. “We’ll have to wait and let it go its course.”

According to court records, a foreclosure order was issued on April 16, with $9,890 in back taxes owed. The court also determined there was a judgment lien against the property in the amount of $64,000, plus interest, which represents a 2011 judgment awarded Karen Brunk against the Hamiltons.

The foreclosure sale is scheduled for 10 a.m., and bidding begins at $12,153, which represents back taxes, plus accrued interest and penalties.

Meanwhile, Sweet Jane’s closed as of Monday, and Gostey believes it had more to do with business than the landlord’s legal issues. “From my understanding, it had nothing to do with the foreclosure,” she said.

The Happy Clipper remains open, and owner Kitty Flugan filed a motion in court to intervene in the foreclosure. She wants the judge to order her $300 monthly rent payments be placed into an escrow account until the foreclosure situation is resolved.