Group home still on block

LISBON — The sale of the former Rogers Group Home for boys will likely be turned over to a realtor after only a single bid was submitted for half the estimated price.

The only sealed bid received by county commissioners was from Baer Auctioneers in the amount of $135,000. The group home and accompanying 17 acres are appraised at $275,000. The Baer family owns the property immediately to the south of the now-closed group home, including the popular Rogers Community Sale.

Commissioner Tim Weigle was disappointed by the offer and the fact it only drew interest from two other entities, neither of which chose to submit a bid. Both of the others were interested in the building and grounds for a drug rehabilitation facility.

He said commissioners are likely to exercise their option and reject the bid, and they may consider bringing in a realtor in attempt to sell the property.

Weigle represents commissioners on the Multi-County Juvenile Attention System board, which provides state-mandated juvenile detention and residential treatment programs for troubled youths in the five member counties of Columbiana, Carroll, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne.

The Rogers Group Home was operated by the MCJAS, but the board voted to close it last October due to declining usage because of the rise in detention-alternative programs and as part of a larger effort to save money. The 16-bed facility was averaging less than two boys per day when it closed.

In other business at last week’s meeting, commissioners approved the request of county Engineer Bert Dawson to formally ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to consider reducing the speed limit on a county road in Liverpool Township.

Commissioner Jim Hoppel said the request is for the 0.3-mile section of Koontz Avenue Extension from Campground Road and the dead-end of the county road. The speed limit is 45 mph and Dawson wants it reduced to 35 mph, and that requires ODOT approval.

Reducing the speed limit to 35 mph would also make the engineer’s office to seek grant money to help repair a section of the hillside that has begun to slip away on Koontz Avenue Extension.

“It’s too fast there anyway,” Hoppel said.

The engineer’s office already used MS Consultants to perform a traffic and engineering study that concluded the speed limits needed reduced on Koontz Avenue Extension. ODOT will be asked to review the study and approve the request.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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