Tree falling on empty house still makes a sound

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) — Even as more storms threaten the Miami Valley, some are still dealing with the consequences of an earlier storm.

Right now a tree on the roof is the only thing still residing at one vacant Riverside home.

We wanted to know what can be done to get rid of the eyesore.

“We can notice that property as being in violation of the city zoning code,” says Riverside City Manager Bryan Chodkowski.

We did find a violation notice on the door. Normally after 10 days the city will then pay a contractor to take care of the tree, but because of all the recent storm damage Riverside is giving residents until July 18th to remove any downed trees or branches.

“Then we can step in and take care of that issue if it’s still unresolved,” Chodkowski says.

But stepping in can put taxpayers on the hook for the cost. Although the city does try to bill property owners for the clean up.

“In most instances we have a 60 percent collection rate based on the services we performed, then we invoice those property owners where we performed those services,” Chodkowski says. “In instances where we’re not immediately reimbursed we do assess those costs onto the tax roll.”

But in this case, records we looked up show more than $16,000 is already owed in taxes on the property and the person listed as the owner died two years ago.

So removing the tree likely won’t come with a refund, but Chodkowski says it’s still worth the cost.

“I think this program is really about maintaining the neighborhoods as they are currently and then working to improve the characteristics of those neighborhoods,” Chodkowski says.

If you’re still dealing with debris from the storm damage you can’t just set it by the curb, you have to have it cut up into smaller bundles so crews will take it.

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