GALLIPOLIS — A pair of Gallipolis residents approached Gallipolis City Commission during its regular meeting Tuesday evening to ask that the city consider addressing what they described as an unsanitary residence and pest problem.
Lisa and David Browning said they had been in contact with county officials about the residence on Chatham Avenue as well.
City Manager Gene Greene read a letter describing concerns from individuals in the neighborhood about the residence.
“We’re are writing in concern to a house at the location of (2000 block) Chatham Avenue,” said Greene as he read. “There has been an elderly lady living there and conditions inside the house are unsanitary…The lady, in our opinion, is not able to take care of herself, let alone the house. We have been in contact with the (Gallia) Sheriff as well as the County Commissioners. After some time, the county health department was (at the residence) along with the city code enforcement officer and adult protection services. Adult protection services or the landlord called the ambulance to take care of the tenant to the hospital to be evaluated and receive medical attention. The county health department, also the city code officer, made evaluations of the site and talked to the (residence owner) who was on-site. The next day the health department and city officer came back with a letter that said (the residence) was unfit for human occupancy and that (no one) could stay there until the house was brought up to compliance.”
“The letter was placed on the door and a copy was given to the owner, per the city code officer,” Greene continued to read. “We, the neighbors, have spent money on the spraying of our properties…We would like the city commissioners to pass an ordinance in regards to inspecting rental houses and or inspecting houses that have a written complaint against them to help protect our elderly and neighbors surrounding them.”
Both the tenant and residence owner remained unnamed in the meeting.
Lisa cited concerns with roaches at the location and said she and neighbors had been spraying their homes to prevent them from becoming infested.
City Solicitor Adam Salisbury said the commission had previously considered passing such an ordinance a number of years ago but ultimately did not. He said previous meeting minutes would need to be reviewed to determine why the choice was made.
“We as the neighbors are suffering because of somebody else’s neglect,” said David.
Salisbury said the neighbors may want to consider seeking legal counsel for the situation as some of their reported concerns could potentially be considered in a civil law suit.
City officials said, to the best of their knowledge, the city code enforcement officer was addressing the situation. The Brownings said they wanted to make sure their concerns were heard. The neighbors to the residence in question have been attempting to resolve their concerns for a few years, said Lisa. Commissioners said they would consider the Brownings’ request and speak among themselves.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.