Village seeking hazardous house demolition

Structure previously deemed unsafe

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — A hazardous house in Covington is on its last legs.

Mayor Ed McCord updated Covington Council on the hazardous house at 137 N. High St. during their meeting Monday evening. A year after neighbors complained about the structure leaning on their own home, the structure may not be up for much longer.

McCord and Village Administrator Busse attended a meeting with the Miami County Public Health Department where the village and the agency decided to move forward with seeking the demolition of the house, as it had been previously deemed structurally unsafe.

“We’re in the final stages of that,” McCord said.

The demolition would not take place until next year, but the village has sent out requests for bids on the project. Busse notified the council that he will be signing a memorandum of understanding with the health department acknowledging that the village and the health department will be splitting the upfront cost of the demolition.

Council member Joyce Robertson asked what would happen to the vacant lot after the house gets demolished and if there was hope of the village recouping the costs of the demolition.

John E. Longenecker, the reported owner of the house, will still be owner of the future vacant lot, but the cost of the demolition is expected to be assessed onto his property taxes.

Longenecker did not appear at the meeting with the village and health department. There is currently a warrant for Longenecker’s arrest in Miami County Municipal Court stemming from five counts of fourth-degree misdemeanor charges for violating regulations of the health department.

In other news:

The council also held the second reading of an ordinance that would allow Covington residents to vote on a street levy.

The proposed street levy would be for 3 mills for five years. The ordinance before the council would request that the Miami County Board of Elections put the levy on the May ballot.

“This proposed levy would be used to partially fund our street resurfacing projects for the next five years,” Busse said.

The county auditor certified that the total current tax valuation of the village is $41,629,880, and the dollar amount of revenue that would be generated by the 3-mill levy would be approximately $124,889 annually.

A home valuation of $75,000 would pay $39.38 per half or approximately 22 cents per day. A home valuation of $100,000 would pay $52.50 per half or approximately 29 cents per day.

A report from Midwest Pavement Analysis previously identified $2,139,154 worth of current needs for street maintenance.

There has been no alley resurfacing done in the last seven years due to budget shortfalls. Covington currently has no dedicated levy for street maintenance.

The council is expected to vote on that ordinance at their next meeting after holding its third reading.

Later in their meeting, the council also approved an annual 2 percent raise for village employees. The council also approved an annual increase to Busse’s salary, and the approved amount was for approximately $76,550.

The council then held the second reading of a resolution authorizing an 11-year contract with Suez for full maintenance on the village’s large water tower.

The cost for the first year would be $1,500; for the second year through the fifth year would be $60,000 annually; for the sixth year through the 10th year would be $113,552; and the last year of the contract would cost $35,771. Annual adjustments after the end of that contract would be a maximum increase of 5 percent.

This contract would include the complete restoration of the tower in addition to annual maintenance.

The village is currently two years into the seven-year contract with Suez for full maintenance on the village’s small water tower. For comparison, the cost of maintenance on the small tower is $73,017 annually for the first six years and then $29,017 for the seventh year.

The council then approved paying an invoice of approximately $47,387 to CH2MHill for construction engineering for the sewer plan phase one project as per the village’s contractor with CH2MHill.

Structure previously deemed unsafe

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336