Community members take a stand at Ansonia Village Council


By Meladi Brewer

ANSONIA — Members of the Ansonia community addressed the council with concerns regarding the town’s property maintenance on Tuesday.

Numerous members voiced their opinions of run down properties, overgrown yards, and trash build up in surrounding parts of the neighborhood. A Facebook post with over 40 shares had stirred up talk in the town, as a male member began shining light on a property in disrepair.

“We want change, and I won’t stop till something is done,” he wrote in the post.

He advised the council that he was at the meeting to talk about the trailer court and how some of them are eye sores while others do not have running water. Another issue being faced all over town are people not mowing their yards for various reasons.

“You know I look out my front door, and I got seven feet tall weeds I got to look at every single day,” the male citizen said.

Mayor Ted Adkins was under the impression they mowed the grass, and he was informed that they were supposed to, but the male citizen and his son actually had to go out and mow between the Dollar Store and the trailer park.

“Because it had gotten so bad that it was up past our knees, and I got that even documented on camera,” the male citizen said.

He advised the council that something needs done. The male had photo proof of what the trailers look like inside that were sent to him. He shared these photos on Facebook where cat feces were all over the belongings inside the residence with a statement that the previous tenant had over 40 cats at one point.

Ansonia Village Administrator Tom Welbaum said the only thing the village has anything to do with out by the trailer court is they own the water and sewer lines.

“The rest is the park. The village is not involved with anything else,” Welbaum said.

He addressed the other park on the other side of town as well saying he has been trying to get hold of owners to try and find a solution, but “they (the village) don’t really have a lot of say so” to Welbaum’s understanding. Councilor Christa Everman inquired about having their solicitor get involved because it is a business and not a private owned property. She said going that way may have more teeth in court.

The male citizen answered questions about getting the Health Department involved saying that they will not come out.

“The Health Department in Darke County won’t deal with it because it has to be at the state level because it’s a trailer court,” the male citizen said.

He said that he still has not heard back from the state health department.

“Some of that stuff from the pictures – that is not livable, that’s for damn sure,” Mayor Adkins said.

It was decided that the council will get with their solicitor and see what they can do to help eradicate the situation with the trailer court; however, more concerned citizens in town voiced they are experiencing similar issues with neighbors not taking care of their properties. These issues lead to eye sores from trash and overgrown yards. One female even stressed that it is leading to a rodent problem as well.

There was discussion about getting groups together to help the neighborhood clean up the properties. They understand not everyone has the time or health to clean up their yard.

“There are lots of young kids. All you got to do is ask. Even us adults will help,” a female citizen said.

They came to an agreement that getting a group of community members together, outside of the council, to advertise on this day at this time, they will be available to help mow, pick up trash, and help those who would like assistance.

Mike Bowers, Director of Darke County Economic Development, raised the idea that the council could talk to Rumpke at their next contract meeting to discuss a spring and fall clean up day. He advised there would be an added cost, but it would be a step to help clean up the bigger items. He advised that concept seems to have worked for Greenville in the past.

The community was advised there isn’t a lot the council could do, as they would be fighting the “legal red tape” with certain ideas that were thrown out. The council was advised that there needs to be some type of consequences and enforcement by making an example out of someone. If the rules are not enforced then the situation will get worse.

The council advised the community that they can take all the owners to court, but it is a slow moving process to cross the “t’s” and dot the “i’s”. Another point that was brought up was the cost to take everyone to court is a lot of money the village does not have, and if the community member cannot pay the fees, they will never see the revenue come back into the community.

“I just want to see some pride in this town,” a female community member stated.

Discussion from community members were about the property maintenance ordinance. They asked how many property owners had actually seen and read the ordinance.

“Go knock on doors and say hey, if you don’t comply with the rules of the ordinance here in town then this is what will happen,” a female citizen said.

She said that if no one has seen it and no one has enforced it, then nothing is going to happen. Another issue addressed was that a few of the properties in disrepair are owned by businesses and village employees, whom in their eyes, should be held to a higher standard. It was advised that they don’t maintain their properties either, and it does not make sense to them.

“We want the town to be better. Believe me,” Mayor Adkins said.

“You’re going to find out a lot of people don’t care and won’t do anything about it,” Councilor Jeff Gariety said. “You just keep going on in a vicious circle and nothing ever really happens.”

Councilor Mike Hackler addressed the room and told them to keep coming to council meetings because a lot of the issues the community brought up are issues the council has previously talked about already this year.

“Come more frequently. It takes a community,” Hackler said.

He said by coming to the meetings more frequently, they will be able to see what the council is doing about the issues, different issues will be able to be brought to light, and it could help educate everyone on the legality of what can and cannot be done to resolve the issues.

By the end of the discussion it was said that “we’re all on the same page. We are all just frustrated.”

The council of the Village of Ansonia meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 100 West Canal Street. All council meetings are open to the public.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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