Andrews council gives MHP owner more time for clean-up

The Andrews Town Council granted an extension to the owner of a mobile home park on complying with an order of enforcement from the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The park in question is Antioch Mobile Home Park, located at 200 Wabash Ave. It is owned by Brian Salerno, managing member of Antioch MHP LLC.

Salerno’s deadline to comply with the order of enforcement, which was generated in July, was Oct. 31. Salerno updated council on his efforts to secure the services of excavation and towing companies to remove mobile homes at the park. In the order of enforcement, the Department of Community Development (DCD) identified a total of eight homes that were in poor condition and needed to be taken out. Of those homes, the ownership status of three of them was unclear, necessitating that Salerno start an abandoned title search.

Salerno contended that a deadline of Oct. 31 did not give him enough time to gather quotes and hire excavation and towing companies, as well as complete the abandoned title search process.

“This is a lot of pressure,” he said, “and a lot of expense for, frankly, a business here that doesn’t generate much revenue.”

DCD representative Marla Stambazze noted that, beyond the Oct. 31 deadline, the order of enforcement listed Nov. 12 as a date where Salerno was obligated to inform council if he had made the deadline or not. In the interests of giving Salerno more time, council decided to move the deadline back to Nov. 12. The board warned Salerno, though, that it would not be postponing the deadline again.

“That’s the drop-dead date,” cautioned Councilman John Harshbarger. “And if you don’t have it done then, we’re going to do it.”

Stambazze stated that if Salerno misses the deadline, the board will be able to have the remaining work completed and send Salerno the bill.

On another matter, DCD Executive Director Amy Gibson informed council that Kim Hostetler, DCD’s building and permit division coordinator, had received word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that Andrews would be awarded a grant to be put toward the removal of houses in a flood plain. There is a total of nine houses, all located on McKeever Street near Loon Creek.

The project is anticipated to cost $807,000. That figure reflects the cost of demolishing the houses, plus legal fees and relocation fees.
Gibson noted that the grant will be a 75/25 split, with FEMA funding the larger amount and Andrews and Huntington County covering the cost of the smaller total.Council had hoped the grant would be a 90/10 split, but Gibson noted that the 75/25 grant had its benefits.

“We get the money sooner and it’s guaranteed,” she said.

In other business:

– Michael Dean Young was sworn in as deputy marshal of the Andrews Police Department. The department also added Matt Farthing to its ranks, with Marshal Austin Bullock given permission by council to hire him as a part-time officer.

– Council voted to spend $1,085 on an LED sign at the Andrews Volunteer Fire Department, fulfilling a request by Dallas Township Trustee Julie Newsome. One of two LED signs that will be installed outside the department, Newsome explained that the signs would be used to pass along information from the fire department and to publicize local events.