The township of Shelburn has over 30 abandoned properties.
“The whole town of Shelburn needs to be cleared,” said one resident.
Residents are bringing the problem of the abandoned properties to light and township officials are eager to solve the issue.
The only problem is, there isn’t enough funding to clear out and tear down dilapidated homes.
“Some are burnt out. We have at least three maybe four burnt out homes that they just run off and left them,” said Town Council President James Ward. “And it costs between five and six thousand dollars just to clean those messes up.”
The township has ordinances put in place to prevent these situations, but there isn’t enough funding to follow through with condemning the properties.
“If you don’t have the finances to enforce the ordinances then they’re of little value. You take them into court and you have to get a lawyer and a lawyer is very expensive to do that with,” said Ward. “And most generally you wont get a very good judgment.”
Ward believes the only way Shelburn will get clean, is if the local income tax is raised, “Maybe we could get quite a few homes every year that way and get them cleaned up.”
Until then, Ward thinks residents will have to wait at least another year before officials can afford to tear down more homes.
“It’s just a terrible problem for the community,” he said. “It makes everything and everybody look bad. It’s unhealthy and creates a lot of unhealthy situations for the citizens.”