HARRISON – At a special meeting held Aug. 29, the Hayes Township Board gathered to firm up a plan as to how it would handle the abatements for four properties as ordered by District Court Judge Joshua Farrell. Those property addresses included: 5420 Mohawk Drive; 5330 Pointview Drive; 4953 Woodsdale St.; and 4386 Oakman Road.
The Board met again Aug. 31 to award the clean-up contracts for the first three addresses to Property Cleanout Michigan, LLC. Costs listed for those three properties were $7,150; $7,150; and $7,550.
At the Sept. 18 Hayes Township Board meeting, a motion was approved to accept the Property Cleanout Michigan LLC proposal for blight cleanup at 4386 E. Oakman Road in the amount of $11,100. Also at that meeting, it was announced that cleanup at the Mohawk Drive address would begin the following day, with emphasis placed on the fact that such cleanups are not spectator sports and that curious people should avoid the area.
The Mohawk property was indeed cleaned up Sept. 19, despite property owner denial, opposition and obstruction. In an effort to retain possessions, some of the materials were moved by that couple into the backyard, behind a fence and therefore out of public view.
The second cleanup began Sept. 20 at 5330 Pointview Drive. That was an arduous, two-day project, which involved a huge homemade enclosed trailer filled with Waste Management trash carts. Those, in turn, were filled with all manner of aromatic trash, including sewage. Hayes Supervisor Rick Jones reported that a quick follow-up Sunday morning drive-by revealed a makeshift fence of extension cords and “keep out” signs had been erected. And so it goes.
Before and After photos of those two cleanups were provided to the Cleaver by Hayes Township and can be viewed here.
Two additional court-ordered abatements remain, the first of which will be 4953 Woodsdale St. That one is slated to begin Thursday, Sept. 28, with the cleanout crew scheduled for two days.
It is an expensive proposition for the township, and the Pointview Drive abatement cost about $400 in addition to the amount originally authorized. Ideally, however, the township will recoup the lion’s share of the costs incurred through payments attached to the homeowners’ tax bills. Those dollars, in turn, have the potential to fund another round of blight abatements, enabling the township to continue addressing the community deterioration that such blight causes.
It is important for impatient neighbors and others to remember that there are reasons why people find themselves in the position of hoarding and living in out-of-control squalor. And sometimes climbing out of that quagmire is not a simple matter of choosing to. So, hopefully, while more blight abatements unfold, township residents will keep in mind that the owners are in a vulnerable state and that, moving forward, these properties should be considered potential “clean slates” on which their owners can live a healthier, safer life.
And when a person has a choice, it never hurts to be kind.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here