By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
The house is the problem child on the East Side – 1014 E. Wooster St. Neighbors have reported trash, a recliner and a mattress piled in the front yard. This past weekend, the college students living there had a TV “blaring” in the front yard.
The inside of the house has also had its share of problems, according to records kept by the city.
“It is unfortunate that conditions like this exist and there is so little regard for community values and people who reside in the neighborhood,” Mayor Dick Edwards said during Monday evening’s city council meeting.
The owners of the house, Ronald F. and Mary Jo Trzcinski, live in Holland, Ohio.
The city has recorded two pages of complaints and official responses to the “deplorable conditions and appearance” of the house that sits to the east of Crim Street across from Bowling Green State University.
“It’s enough to make your head spin,” Edwards said.
The mayor made several trips to the property over the weekend, and East Side advocate Rose Hess continued to monitor the site.
“I think it’s time to take the gloves off with this property,” Edwards said.
Over the last few years, the city’s police division, fire division, code enforcement officials, and Wood County Health District have intervened. Each time they have asked the owner to cleanup or repair items, the Trzcinskis have done just enough to comply.
This past weekend, Hess recorded more problems at the property.
“Last night we drove past there and a 36-inch flat screen TV was blaring in the front yard. (Interior furniture prohibited outdoors) and lots of bottles and trash galore while they had a party,” Hess reported.
The landowners have been unresponsive to the East Side neighborhood concerns.
“East Side sent a nice letter to owners last year with supporting photographs and never heard back from them,” Hess said.
So on Tuesday, city staff and county health district officials met and decided to “drastically increase the level of enforcement,” said Joe Fawcett, assistant municipal administrator.
Also City Prosecutor Hunter Brown sent a letter to the owners Tuesday, saying “No more warnings will be given. We’re going straight to citations,” Fawcett said.
Following is a list of some of the problems at 1014 E. Wooster St. recorded by the city over the past year:
- June 28, 2016 – Complaint regarding trash around the front and side yards.
- June 29, 2016 – Observed and verified trash around the front and side yards. Spoke with a tenant and discussed trash and two days to clean the property for a recheck.
- July 13, 2016 – Complaint from fire department regarding various concerns inside the property: electrical outlets not working, cloth material over walls and ceiling.
- July 14, 2016 – Went to the property with health district officials, took several pictures. The issues inside the house include: no railing in the stairways (upstairs and basement), plumbing issues in the basement with exposed pipe, windows broken in the southeast bedroom and an unsecure window in the front room, ceiling tiles not being properly constructed (ceiling in the back area of the house was made from cloth material), and outlets damaged. Tenants stated that the fire was under the kitchen sink and from an unknown cause.
- August 15, 2016 – Letter was mailed to the property owner regarding the issues within the property.
- August 22, 2016- Received a complaint regarding loose trash and a recliner outside of the property.
- August 22, 2016 – Observed loose trash and garbage around the back of the property. Warning notice given, and spoke with a tenant about cleaning up the property and removing the chair.
- August 24, 2016 – Observed garbage and the chair still on the outside of the property.
- August 26, 2016 – Letter written to owner and tenants regarding the trash and recliner.
- September 6, 2016 – Spoke to the property owner, Ron Trzcinski, he stated most of the items were repaired. He is waiting on a window to be installed. A recheck will be scheduled when windows are installed. He also stated he does not want anyone on his property without him being present.
- October 7, 2016 – Met with the property owner for a recheck of the property. All items were corrected, with the exception of the railing into the basement. Trzcinski, stated he did not realize that stairway needed a railing as well. He repaired the upstairs railing, and will install a basement railing and email pictures to confirm work was completed. Also, discussed trash around the property being an issue. Trzcinski stated that he came by once and picked up a load of trash and items. He stated that it is up to the tenants to clean up their items.
- October 13, 2016 – Email was received with pictures of the basement railing installed.
- December 7, 2016 – Observed a mattress and trash outside of the property.
- December 8, 2016 – Letter mailed to the tenants and the owner regarding trash and the mattress.
- January 11, 2017 – Received complaint for trash and litter.
- January 11, 2017 – Called and left messaged for tenant and property owner regarding trash.
- January 12, 2017 – Observed trash and debris in the yard, left warning notice.
- January 12, 2017 – Observed some trash picked up, but items are still in the front yard and side yard. Spoke to the tenants, and they stated items in the far back of the property were not their trash. They stated people are walking in the alley and they get a lot of litter and debris blowing into the yard. They stated that they will still pick up the items to avoid a fine. They asked for a two-day extension to clean up the property. I explained that the next step would be a citation and $500 fine.
- April 19, 2017 – Observed trash and debris around the property. Left a warning notice on the front door. Knocked on the door, and no one answered. A woman left the property and stated that tenants were inside, knocked and waited again, and no one answered.
- June 2, 2017 – Received a complaint regarding trash around the property.
- June 5, 2017 –A narrative has been written and sent to BG Planning Director Heather Sayler and City Prosecutor Hunter Brown regarding the property. Hunter stated that he will send a letter from his office later this afternoon. Hunter also stated that once his letter is sent, any further complaint will result in a citation. An inspection of the property will be conducted today, and if a violation is observed, a warning of one day will be given to clean the property.