Walbridge wants to tear down old home

WALBRIDGE – Council is taking another step to tear down an abandoned home in town.
At Wednesday’s meeting, council heard the first reading on an ordinance that allows the removal of public
nuisances, including dilapidated homes. It also addresses "additional nuisances," such as
storage of junk and junk vehicles. An appeal to the board of zoning appeals is allowed. There will be
two more readings on the ordinance before a vote.
"It just allows us to clear an abandoned/vacant house here in Walbridge," said Mayor Ed Kolanko
after the meeting.
The specific property is 223 Guy St., he said. Council voted last fall to condemn the home, which the
mayor said has been neglected for a couple of years.
"It’s in disrepair," Kolanko said. "The best course of action for the village is to take
it down."
According to obituary records, the former owners, Dennis and Carole Bomer, died within eight days of each
other at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in 2011. They are still listed as property owners on the Wood County
Auditor’s web site.
In a letter to the Wood County Health Department dated Sept. 18, Kolanko noted that about two years ago
there was a water line break and the basement in the home flooded. Kolanko said Solicitor Brian
Ballenger has unsuccessfully hunted for relatives who will keep up or sell the property, and taxes and
assessments are accruing.
The house was declared a nuisance in September, which was the first step to tearing it down, Kolanko
"Nobody has stepped forward to take ownership of the property and it’s not fair to the people who
live there. And it’s truly a safety hazard," the mayor said Wednesday.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Elected Ron Liwo as council president. Ken Gilsdorf quit the post last month, saying he was going to be
away frequently this summer.
• Approved an ordinance switching banks for village business to State Bank, which is in Walbridge.
Kolanko said there are no fees involved and the village may even get a higher interest rate on some
funds. "It goes along with my theory that you want to support local (businesses)," the mayor
• Approved Kolanko’s recommendations for appointments to the planning commission of Breanna Hernandez,
Bob Kiss and Mike Springer.
• Heard Gilsdorf report that CSX is putting together a task force to look at how it can unblock the Union
Street crossing in the village. Apparently, when a lead engine is refueled it causes about 50 percent of
the crossing blockages. But the entire set of trains is a challenge to be moved elsewhere for the
refueling, Gilsdorf said.
• Heard Kolanko ask if he still should proceed with getting a new website running for the village at an
estimated $3,200 cost. Some council members said they thought the cost was too high, but the consultant
was welcome to give his presentation.
• Held a moment of silence for the seven victims of the June 5, 2010, tornado.