COLERAIN TWP, Ohio - A group of residents showed up at a Tuesday night Colerain Township trustee meeting to let community leaders know how they can make their neighborhoods safer.
"We can't wait 30 minutes," said Jim Eckhoff, a Colerain resident who lives on Janrose Avenue. "We've got to make this happen now."
Eckhoff was one of many who attended the meeting to determine which of 30 properties the township would demolish to help drive down crime rates and increase living conditions.
Eckhoff, in particular, was interested in seeing 2919 and 2911 Janrose Ave., properties in his neighborhood, demolished first.
2911 Janrose Ave. was the scene of a murder in March.
Officials though said the property Eckhoff sought to have demolished are up to code, and an attorney, Bradford Weber, representing the properties owner said he believes the best thing that can be done for those particular properties is renovation.
"Those renovations are prepared to go forward to completion," Weber said. "It's in everyone's best interests to avoid demolition."
Township policed agree that the properties have been a problem in the past though, saying the neighborhood is tied to drug activity that has taken place in condemned buildings.
With an elementary school nearby, the concern is even higher, said Colerain Township Administrator Jim Rowan, adding demolition is all part of the township's revitalization program.
"In some areas where rehabbing is essential, we would promote that, and get homes up to condition, get people to live and have prospering neighborhoods," Rowan said.
All together, city officials and residents discussed 14 properties in the list of 30.
Eckhoff was not convinced though about the buildings on Janrose.
"Are we setting ourselves up again for what happened next door?" Eckhoff asked. "Let's not sugar coat it."
Colerain Township officials say that owners of the properties that want to remodel over demolition have 30 days to prove to trustees their intent. That meeting is set for May 14.
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