Council gives update on ‘unsafe’ house

Approves village employee salary increases

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Covington Council gave an update on a property reportedly causing disrepair to a neighboring home during their meeting Monday evening.

Village Administrator Mike Busse said that they received the bids for tearing down the property at 137 N. High St.

“The apparent low bidder is M&T Excavating,” Busse said. Their bid was $24,704, which included an approximately $11,000 asbestos mitigation.

The village previously deemed this property “structurally unsafe and a hazard.” Neighbors came forward during public comment at previous council meetings to discuss how the house at 137 N. High St. has damaged their homes. According to those residents, the property is leaning on their homes and causing damage to their properties.

Busse said that he spoke with one neighbor of the house. The neighbor’s home insurance provider would not work with the neighbor on getting the hazardous property demolished, but the insurance provider would pay to repair the damage on her home once that property was removed.

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

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. The Miami County Health Board has a hearing with Longenecker in court this week, so Busse advised the council that they should wait and see how that hearing goes before taking any action with the property.

The village has not yet committed to tearing down the property.

Also during their meeting, the council approved salary increases for village employees, giving them a 1.5 percent raise for 2017. The council also approved Busse’s salary of approximately $75,000.

The council also accepted a $4,000 donation from the Covington Optimist Club to be used for the basketball court maintenance and the purchase of a new speed trailer for the Covington Police Department.

“In Covington, we’re very fortunate to have an Optimist Club,” Mayor Ed McCord said. “It’s a very good organization.”

As the meeting was the last one of the year, McCord thanked the council and village employees for their hard work this year.

“We did a lot of great things for the community,” McCord said, adding that he was looking forward to 2017.

The next two council meetings were rescheduled to Tuesday, Jan. 3, and Tuesday, Jan. 17, each taking place at the municipal building, located at 1 S. High St., and starting at 7 p.m. The rest of the council meetings during the year will take place on the first and third Monday of each month at the same time and place.

Approves village employee salary increases

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336