Council addresses neighbor issue

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Neighbors came forward during public comment at Covington Council on Monday evening to question an issue with a nearby property that is reportedly causing damage to their homes.

Village Administrator Mike Busse and City Attorney Frank Patrizio advised the residents that they are working on this issue and are pursuing having the building demolished under Ohio Revised Code. According to those residents, the property is leaning on their home and causing damage to their home.

Patrizio provided notice in the form of a letter of the village’s “intention to demolish the house and buildings located at 137 N. High Street, Covington.” Patrizio, in the letter, stated that the village “has determined that the buildings are structurally unsafe and a hazard.”

The reported owner of the home, John E. Longenecker, was given 30 days notice of demolishing the property himself upon receipt of the letter. If Longenecker does not demolish the property, the village will demolish it and charge Longenecker for the costs, which will be assessed on Longenecker’s property taxes.

The couple who came to check on this issue with the council expressed dissatisfaction that this issue had not been taken care of sooner, such as over the summer when the issue first cropped up. They were advised to continue contacting the Miami County Health Board or seeking legal action.

“This really is a civil issue between you and your neighbor,” Busse said.

“All we can say is we’re working on it,” Patrizio said. “The village only has so much responsibility.”

Longenecker, currently of Laura, recently received fines from the Miami County Health Board for violations in regard to this home, according to Miami County Municipal Court records.

During the council’s regular meeting, they waived the three-reading rule and approved a resolution to apply for an Ohio EPA Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) loan for improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The maximum loan award amount is $550,000, and the interest rate is 1 percent. The loan amount can be scaled back based on the bids for the project.

The council also held the second reading of a resolution for their 2017 sidewalk project.

They also held the first reading of a resolution to enter into a mutual aid agreement with Montgomery County. Police Chief Lee Harmon explained that this is an agreement that they have always had with law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County, but its wording was recently updated.

The council also accepted the resignation of part-time police officer Stefan Deeter, who was reportedly resigning due to time commitments.

During the mayor’s report, Mayor Ed McCord thanked Harmon for a successful Halloween passing without any incidences.

“That stuff doesn’t happen without his officers coordinating,” McCord said.

McCord also let the community know that the Thanksgiving dinner will be held on Nov. 19, between 4-7 p.m. at the Covington Eagles.

The next Covington Council meeting was moved to Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. at the municipal building, 1. S. High St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336