Crothersville Town Council discusses unsafe properties


Rodents and bugs are just the beginning of the problems at a home on Marshall Drive.

A basement and swimming pool full of water are among issues at a house on East Street.

A trailer missing two outer walls is an eyesore on Bard Street.

The Crothersville Town Council discussed these unsafe properties during a meeting earlier this month and asked town attorney Jeff Lorenzo to send letters to the property owners in hopes of getting these issues resolved.

Councilman Lenvel “Butch” Robinson said the Marshall Drive house has a hole in the roof, the front porch is falling to the ground, the front door is standing open and neighbors have complained about high grass, rodents and bugs.

He said some people recently were seen trying to clean it up, but he said the situation “gets worse and worse.”

“They need a letter, I think, to get something done,” Robinson said.

Councilman Chad Wilson, who also serves on the town’s unsafe building committee, said a letter was sent to the homeowner earlier this year, and he hopes a second one will get a response.

On East Street, a home has a basement full of water, and the flooring is sagging. Outside, a swimming pool is full of water.

Police Chief Matt Browning said he recently was called to the home on a report of a suspicious vehicle outside. A relative of the homeowner who was there told him there would be vehicles there because work is being done on the inside of the home.

“The basement is full,” Browning told the council. “I’ve had to go in the house too many times, and I don’t want to walk in it anymore because you can see through the baseboards. You can see through it because it is sagging so bad. If somebody is in there working, it’s going to get bad.”

Council President Danieta Foster said that homeowner also has received at least one letter from the town this year.

Wilson said there has been a dispute over who owns the property.

“It’s the thought we’ve ran into with probably half a dozen houses in town,” he said.

Curt Kovener told the council the home is going up for a tax sale in October. Each year, Jackson County conducts a tax sale for delinquent real properties that have taxes and special assessments due from the prior year’s spring installment.

In Indiana, the county treasurer and auditor are required to sell tax liens on delinquent properties.

Jackson County will offer these tax sale certificates at a public auction for a minimum bid that is not less than the total amount due in delinquent taxes, costs, special assessments and penalties.

The purpose of the tax sale is to offer the delinquent properties to collect back taxes to help fund local government services.

The trailer on Bard Street also is on the tax sale.

“It has got to go. We’ve got to do something,” Foster said. “That trailer is sitting there right across from the (Bard Street Park) where kids are at. The whole side is gone out of it. The back is gone out of it. The porch has a hole in it.”

Kovener said he has received a couple of calls from people wanting to know about the property on the tax sale, so there is some interest.

“They just don’t want to spend $5,000 and then another $5,000 to clean it up and then have a vacant lot that they can’t sell for $8,000,” he said.