Northwest News

Code enforcement

Pests, zoning, trash -- Hargrow deals with it all

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From bedbugs to rats to roaches, Troy D. Hardgrow deals with it all.

Trash in someone's yard? Zoning violations? Illegally parked trailers? A shuttle van for a "gentleman's club" used more for advertising than transportation?

All that and much more comes the way of Hardgrow, the code enforcement official assigned to the Northwest Side, as well as a large swath of the North Side in general.

Hardgrow, who has been working for the city for a little more than eight years, was the guest speaker at last week's Northwest Civic Association meeting, and even before he could talk about what his duties include, trustees were bringing problem spots to his attention.

Dave Shaw, chairman of the code enforcement committee, complained about a construction trailer owned by the "most antagonistic guy I've ever seen" being left parked next Kenny Road south of Old Henderson Road where the Brewsky's Sports Bar and Grill is undergoing renovation.

"He ought to know that we mean business," Shaw said.

He does, Hardgrow replied, and if it was still there early this week, he vowed to take the trailer's owner to court.

"I try my best to get out here as much as I can," the code enforcement official told board members, noting that it's been two years since he attended one of their meetings.

"Unfortunately, I have a huge area," Hardgrow added.

He said he basically covers the city from state Route 315 west to Riverside Drive and between the border with Powell to just south of OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.

Rosemarie Lisko, graphics and zoning committee chairwoman, asked about a specific auto dealer placing advertising signs on utility poles.

Already taken care of," Hardgrow assured her.

"It's nice and clean," he said. "I made them remove every last portable sign there."

Hardgrow talked about managers of apartment complexes on the Northwest Side who put up illegal signs seeking renters almost as fast as he can confiscate them.

"You would think that at some point they would realize how much money they're losing," he mused.

"Can you deputize us?" Board President John Ehlers asked at one point.

"Unfortunately, no," Hardgrow answered.

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