Bellefontaine Examiner

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HEALTH BOARD: 2 parties debate safety of Russells Point property

Officials from the village of Russells Point and a property owner in the village presented conflicting viewpoints about the safety of a housing structure during a nearly hour-long hearing Wednesday at the Logan County District Board of Health’s meeting.

At previous sessions, property owner Janice Rogers had been ordered to stabilize the structure at 316 Westview St. and remove all solid waste from the property or to remove the structure, which is fire-damaged and has issues with a collapsing ceiling.

During the November meeting, Ms. Rogers had provided updates about improvements made to the property, which she uses as a storage facility for her rental properties. However, Russells Point Zoning Officer Joel Kranenburg had expressed ongoing concerns about the stability of the structure and its potential for collapse.

At that time, both Ms. Rogers and Russells Point officials were given 60 days to provide documentation of whether the structure is stable or if it is at risk for collapse.

Since November, both parties have sought professional opinions about the property. Russells Point presented a written report from an engineering firm, while Ms. Rogers brought architect Karen Beasley to the hearing to provide her opinions.

According to village officials, the engineering firm report cited numerous structural issues, including with the stability of the roof and the chimney leaning in.

“We’re just putting a Band-aid on something that’s not going to heal,” Russells Point Mayor Robin Reames said.

“The safety of the community is what the issue is here,” Mr. Kranenburg said. “We’re concerned with safety hazards if the structure would give way.

“This property has been a problem for the past seven years.”

Read the full story in Thursday's Examiner.

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