Woman brings property complaint to trustees

CALCUTTA — A Martha Street resident complained to St. Clair Township trustees Tuesday about the poor condition of neighboring property.

Jerry Barnes called the property a safety issue due to several children residing in the area, and that rodents and mosquitoes that have appeared as a result. He also suggested zoning may be needed.

“I’ve been there for 43 years and during my time until the last five years, property owners cared about their homes, they care about their land,” Barnes said. “Everything was well taken care of, but now, everything’s changed.”

Noting there have been several properties with vehicles and junk, Barnes said he wanted to offer his help in any way, perhaps even putting zoning on the ballot.

Trustee Chairman James Hall acknowledged the nuisance property issues are a problem throughout the township.

Hall said that for zoning to happen, a resident first would need to start a petition, and it would be followed by the formation of a committee and meetings.

Trustee James Sabatini also expressed frustration with nuisance properties, saying it’s taken nearly two years before an issue can be resolved.

“The problem without any zoning … when people start to find out about that kind of thing, that gives them reason to gravitate to a place where nobody’s telling them what to do, or we don’t have the authority to keep them from doing certain things, or you as a neighbor don’t have any rights left,” Sabatini said.

Sabatini suggested trying to zone one precinct to see the results.

Cartwright Avenue resident Allen Cain complained abut the conditions of his road.

Last winter, Cain said, a portion of the chip-and-seal on the roadway broke down near the edge of his driveway, which he said might have been as a result of road crews backing in as they cleared the roads following the ice and snow.

The road, he said, was last patched about three years ago.

“With the rain we’ve had, it’s making a rut down past the driveway,” Cain said.

At the intersection of Cartwright and Curry avenues, Cain said the roadway had been filled in due to a water leak, but it was not done properly. He said during heavy rains, slag, mud and dirt had hit the roads and he suggested trenching so it doesn’t happen again.

Cain also mentioned a pothole on Cartwright that needs to be filled, and a fire hydrant that had been used was covered up.

Road supervisor Scott Barrett said it was a city issue, not a township issue.