By David Slone
CLAYPOOL — A Claypool property that was condemned five years ago and is now owned by the county will finally go up for sale, providing some relief to a neighbor who’s expressed concern about it for some time.
Tuesday, Sept. 26, county attorney Ed Ormsby brought before the commissioners the property the county owns at 9020 S. Smalley Lane, Claypool. He said the property was cleaned up by the Kosciusko County Health Department, the county does own it but is not using the property. Ormsby said it would make sense if the county listed the property for sale through the sheriff’s sale.
The commissioners unanimously approved to sale the property.
The residence was condemned in 2018 after it was damaged by fire.
Nate Myers, who lives across from the property, told the commissioners he initiated the property getting cleaned up last spring. He said the county sent someone out pretty quickly to get it cleaned up, but there’s still a pile of trash there. Myers said he started mowing the grass about three weeks ago, but until then nothing was done all year.
“When it happened, I bought the property right beside of it because I wanted to clean it up, too, because both were just a total complete mess,” Myers said.
In two weeks, he said he filled two 40-yard dumpsters, 52 tires, eight engines, seven small engines and “I don’t know how much trash we took out of there. It was a complete mess.”
Two weeks later, he said he received a letter from the county stating he had a shed on his property that didn’t have a house on it anymore and he needed to do something about it. When he came in to the county to ask about it, Myers said he was told he needed to combine that property with his property across the street. He asked why and was told that in 1979 an ordinance was passed that stated a shed couldn’t be on a property without a residence on it. Myers pointed out to the county they had the same problem with just a shed sitting on their property across from his and they haven’t done anything with it.
Myers asked for a date when the county would put the Smalley Lane property up for sale. Ormsby said there would be a two-week notice period for the sheriff’s sale. Myers said he’s left three voicemails for the commissioners over the last three months and no one has called him back.
“We’re trying to be as patient as we can, but I’m trying to look for answers also. It’s very frustrating,” Myers said.
County Administrator Marsha McSherry said she had Myers’ wife’s phone number and was going to call her back after Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioner Bob Conley also suggested the 1979 shed ordinance was something that the Area Plan Commission could take a look at.
Commissioner Brad Jackson thanked Myers for cleaning up the property.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
- Kosciusko County Highway Department Superintendent Steve Moriarty’s request to advertise for the 2024 annual highway supply bids on Oct. 4 and 11. The bids will be opened at the commissioners meeting Nov. 6 at 9:15 a.m.
- Kosciusko County Emergency Management Agency Director Kip Shuter’s request to apply for the Emergency Management Performance grant for $55,000. The grant covers 50% of the full-time EMA employees for fiscal year 2023. The maximum amount for the grant the county can apply for is based on the county’s population, and is $55,000.
Shuter also informed the commissioners that at 2:20 p.m. Oct. 4 there will be a nationwide emergency alert test over broadcast, radio, television and over wireless emergency alert systems so all cell phones will receive that emergency warning.
- The vacation of a public way petition and two rezoning requests as presented by Area Plan Director Matt Sandy. There were no remonstrators to any of them and none of the petitioners spoke to the commissioners on their own behalf. The Area Plan Commission gave a favorable recommendation to all three requests.
The vacation of a public way petition was for Tim Blackford, Luann Wray and Gene Fenix and Clifford and Tamara Smith. Sandy said the public way is out on the east side of Hoffman Lake, between a new subdivision and the old Wray subdivision.
“What the petitioners are looking at doing is vacating the last northern part of Wray Drive in that old Wray subdivision. That area right now is just a grassy area,” Sandy said.
The first of the two rezonings was for Brett Harter, rezoning 6.22 acres from agricultural to an agricultural II district. The property is on the south side of CR 500N, just west of Sullivan Road near the North Webster-Oswego area in Tippecanoe Township.
The final request was to rezone 23 acres from agricultural to commercial for Kenneth Showalter. The parcel on the west side of Ind. 15, just north of CR 400N in Plain Township.