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Resolutions give owners of deteriorated properties 30 days to fix problems

20 February 2013 No Comment

By AMBER SOUTH
@ShipNewsGirl

SHIPPENSBURG — Shippensburg Borough Council on Tuesday unanimously passed resolutions to declare public nuisances at two properties, pending notification that abatement notices were received by the owners.

Abatement notices were placed Tuesday on the front door of each property, 150 W. Orange St. and 454 E. King St., and were mailed to the owners.

The notices give the property owners 30 days to fix the problems causing their properties to be structurally deficient. If the issues are not resolved, the resolutions give the borough the power to take further steps. These include establishing a court order to allow the borough to fix the problems either by repair or demolition and ordering the property owner to pay for related costs, the failure of which will result in the borough filing a lien on the property.

Because some council members were concerned that the owners would learn of the abatement notices by some other means, council decided to pass the resolutions on the stipulation that they will not take effect until the borough receives notification that either the posted or mailed notices were received by the property owners, or receives notice of mail delivery failure from the U.S. Postal Service.

At 150 W. Orange St., the deteriorated foundation and general condition of the residential structure constitute a public nuisance. It is considered a dangerous structure that presents an immediate hazard to the community because the crumbling foundation has nearly spilled over into the adjacent sidewalk, and the building imposes a threat of collapse.

The porch roof at 454 E. King St. is in a state of disrepair and partial collapse, which constitutes a public nuisance and an immediate hazard to the community.

“Driving by it, it very obviously is in danger of collapse,” council member Kerri Burrows said.

Some council members questioned why council is considering the resolutions now, when the 30 days has not passed. Passing the resolutions now allows the borough to take action immediately after the 30-day mark, rather than waiting until then to pass the resolutions that allow further procedures to take place, Solicitor Sam Wiser said.

“It makes it clear to property owners that the borough is very concerned about the situation,” he added.

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Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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