Board fields property complaints


OBSERVER Staff Writer

PERRYSBURG – When abandoned properties turn into neighborhood eyesores, there is not much a town board can do.

Town of Perrysburg Code Enforcement Officer James Pacanowski said there are several vacant properties with high grass and there is not much they can do legally. Cattaraugus County passed a law where municipalities cannot put mowing expenses onto the taxes anymore.

“We used to be able to go in, mow the grass and put it on the taxes. We can’t do that anymore,” Pacanowski said.

Pacanowski can write citation tickets for unkempt lawns, but if the owners abandoned the property they may be unable to be reached. In that case, a citation ticket is not useful. Some of the abandoned properties are still in the owner’s name but if the individual is unable to be located, a ticket is useless.

In other cases, the properties have been turned over to banks. Pacanowski said that some banks are easier to work with in regard to taking ownership of a property. Pacanowski will talk with the banks to see if it is possible to find out who owns some of the abandoned houses in the town to clean up lawns.

Robin Clark, water superintendent, said the town’s reservoir was cleaned and about one to two inches, in some areas, were removed. In other areas of the reservoir, the amount was up to one foot.

“The (cleaning) went well,” Clark said.

By law, the town is supposed to clean out the tank every three to five years. The town will be installing a mixer into the tank which will constantly slowly mix the water in the tank. Clark also said the town is testing for bacteria near the village wells. While bacteria is not in the wells, when they were installed, a small amount of bacteria was detected. It’s a “very, very low” amount of bacteria and it is not unusual to be detected, Clark said. The town is still monitoring the situation and will regularly check on bacteria levels.

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