Only the little people get burned in Dayton Ohio

I’ve often said the worst thing that can happen to a property owner in Dayton is when your next door neighbors home is foreclosed on. Next thing you know, the copper wire, the copper plumbing, the furnace, the A/C, is all pulled out by scrappers and the cost to replace it it way more than the scrap value.

The second worst, if it doesn’t burn your house too, is having your neighbors home catch on fire. The hulking relic can stick around for years.

Unless of course, your a school board member and a friend of Mayor Nan Whaley.

The house next door to new School Board member Karen Wick Gagnet burned down on April 22nd 2018.

A few days later, demolition crews were knocking the walls down and making it a mound of rubble.

And, by June 22nd- it was being excavated and backfilled.

That doesn’t happen for the average taxpayer. There’s a house on Salem that burned so long ago- it’s covered in ivy.

That’s why we did a little video- “Burning Questions” which asks why there isn’t a standard protocol city wide for what has to happen when a building burns, complete with deadlines, bonding, and even a public auction if an owner can’t promise to take care of it.

It’s time that everyone gets the same treatment in Dayton. Not just the elected folks.

What should happen?

Within the first 30 days, a property owner has to fill out a plan complete with how they’ll pay, to either demo the property or begin repairs.

If that doesn’t happen, an instant auction will take place, with bidders able to take the property, as long as they can file a plan and have a bond for enough to cover the project.

If no bids come in, the building is demolished, the owner charged for the demolition, and the real estate is instantly put up for sale.

There is no reason for these hulking piles of trash should be allowed to stand.

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Gary LeitzellAndrew Recent comment authors
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While I don’t know the specifics of the sites that you mentioned, burnt houses are immediately torn down if deemed a safety hazard. The few months that passed would have been enough time to have an asbestos survey performed. If no asbestos material was found, it’s much cheaper to haul away and fill back in. If asbestos was found, all of that house is now considered asbestos containing and it costs a small fortune to remove it. I’m not arguing that politics played a part in this, it may have. But that’s the process and it is why some houses are torn down right away and some aren’t. And why some houses are removed right away and some aren’t.

Gary Leitzell
Gary Leitzell

The City of Dayton presumes that burned out structures have asbestos since there is no way of testing a burned out structure. So the cost of demolition is greater. They also prioritize structures on main thoroughfares over those that are less visible. One of the big problems is the Land Bank got federal NIP money to demolish housing. It has to be spent within a short time frame or be returned. Instead of talking to other jurisdictions such as the city and giving them the money for demolition, they decided to keep it. The Land Bank does not have the same authority the City has. The City can declare a structure a nuisance and demolish it. The Land Bank has to acquire the structure first, then demolish it. This delays demolition and adds to the cost due to having to acquire the structure. Unfortunately in Montgomery County you can’t fix stupid. The person in charge of the land bank is running for county commission and the other big influence who wasn’t paying attention to the issue of acquisition is the current mayor …..