Blight panel to act on former East St. School

Times Observer file photo by Josh Cotton The former East St. School — 104 W. Third Ave. in Warren — was the focus of Thursday’s city Blighted Property Review Committee meeting.

Lack of resolution at the former East St. School has left the City of Warren Blighted Property Review Committee on the precipice of a second blight declaration against the structure.

City Planner Vince DeJoy said there hasn’t been any correspondence with the owner of the 104 W. Third Ave. structure since August.

“We still are in the same spot we were last month,” Code Official Jessica Bee added.

Committee Chair Ray Pring said there has been “very scant progress” for the last two months.

Bee explained that the plan was to remove the chimneys and the bell tower down to the roof level and then being a demolition company in. She said a demolition permit has not yet been issued.

Pring asked if there has been any increase in safety issues or complaints and Bee said none had been received recently.

“He has maintained the property in a fair condition,” Bee said.

“This property has been before us for at least two years, three to four years since it’s been on our radar,” he said. “I’m concerned at the lack of progress and I’m not sure what else to do other than move forward. It’s been years.”

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said that large buildings like this pose a challenge in this process.

Bee said there had been no changes since the first declaration of blight. Concern was expressed that the owner may not have been notified about today’s meeting so the issue was tabled for a month before that second declaration of blight could be acted on.

The committee rescinded blight designations against 500 Market St. and 316 and 316 1/2 Oneida Ave. but for vastly different reasons.

500 Market St. was pulled due to work completed at the site, even though that work isn’t yet complete.

“I don’t think it meets the criteria,” Pring said.

The Oneida Ave. property was removed because the structure has been demolished.

A first declaration of blight was passed against 58 Locust St. while staff will be bringing additional information to the October meeting for the property at 1022 Spring St.


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