The Mifflin Township trustees considered a proposal to demolish seven dilapidated homes within the township, but a question of where the money would come from led them to postpone action.

The Mifflin Township trustees considered a proposal to demolish seven dilapidated homes within the township, but a question of where the money would come from led them to postpone action.

Code enforcement officer Steve Blake, who has made finding ways to remediate blighted properties within the township a priority, offered a plan in which the township would hire a contractor to demolish the structures even though the township does not own the properties.

Rundown properties are problematic in the township and have become a source of numerous complaints from residents. Blake said they are a magnet for criminal activity and that often times, as soon as the structures are boarded up, teens and vagrants tear the boards off and enter the structures.

Blake's proposal would shorten the process of removing eyesore structures and permit the township to demolish them, providing it follows several steps to make sure it stayed within legal guidelines. Those steps include placing a large sign in the front of the structure, warning of the impending demolition, taking out a legal notice in the newspaper, sending a notice by certified mail to the property owner of record and getting the county to declare the building structurally unsafe.

"We want to give property owners and lien holders every opportunity to correct the problems," he said after the meeting.

The Ohio Revised Code grants townships the authority to demolish structurally unsafe buildings, he said.

"I'm looking at the quickest way of resolving this problem for the safety of the residents and our first-responders," he said.

Bids from contractors to demolish the seven structures range from a low of about $27,000 to a high of $37,733, Blake told the trustees.

Blake and Police Chief Michael Pocock both said the plan would benefit the neighborhood around each property and reduce the township's liability concerns.

The trustees expressed interest in the proposal but questioned whether the township has the money to do it.

"I think it's something we need to think about, but I'm not prepared to act on this tonight," trustee Lynn Stewart said.

Trustee Richard Angelou questioned where the money would come from in the township's general fund but added that "if it's no muss, no fuss, then I'm for it."

Stewart suggested that Blake search for alternative sources of funding for the proposal, such as federal grant money.

In other business, fiscal officer Nancy White said Matt Brown of the Franklin County Development and Planning Department reported that about 50 people attended an Aug. 9 open house at the Blendon Senior Center to discuss proposed Clean Streams Northeast zoning regulations regarding setbacks along streams in Blendon, Clinton and Mifflin townships.

Brown told the trustees July 20 that the setbacks, if approved, would prohibit building, filling and grading within the setbacks and regulate other activities along streams and waterways in those townships to reduce pollution and runoff and create a better environment along waterways in the Alum Creek and Big Walnut Creek watersheds.

Trustee chairman Joe Spanovich said Brown would be invited to attend a future meeting to discuss the feedback from the open house on the proposed regulations.