The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 4, 2013

Whalen eyes more houses for fixup

SHARON — The lawyer and developer who has fixed up six tax-delinquent houses in Sharon and rented them is ready to buy more of the city’s neglected properties.

HomeTown Community Rentals Inc. wants the city to exonerate the unpaid taxes on a list of houses and start the legal process of selling them to be rehabilitated and rented.

Seven of the two dozen properties on the list are near houses HomeTown already has repaired on several streets. Thirteen others are located along Stambaugh and Euclid avenues and East State Street.

Those are “on a main thoroughfare that affect not only the people living in the area but also the perception of those passing through,” said J. Jarret K. Whalen, president of the company whose office is in Mercer.

Whalen also has a law office at 719 Stambaugh.

Another three properties are being offered on Orchard and Malleable streets by owners who want HomeTown to take over because they can no longer afford to maintain them.

At Thursday’s council workshop, city solicitor Bill Madden said empty houses have been a city problem for a long time.

“These have been sold for taxes at least once before and some of them more than once,” he said. “As long as (Whalen) understands that cleaning up the titles will take time, I have no problem with doing the work.”

Preparing the properties to be offered later at a judicial sale will cost about $800 for each for title searches, court costs and sheriff’s advertising. That’s money the city can’t afford if the properties aren’t ultimately sold to Whalen or another buyer, Madden said.

He recommended that City Manager Scott Andrejchak ask Whalen to guarantee that he will bid on the properties once the court finishes its work and the properties are cleared for sale by the county’s tax claim bureau.

Other landlords at the meeting got assurances from Madden and Andrejchak that they would be able to bid on the properties, too, when they are offered for sale.

“It sounds good to me,” council President Vic S. Heutsche said. “We won’t have to cut the grass and maintain them if we can get rid of them.”

Councilman Ed Palanski added his approval for the request but noted that the city has a long way to go to solve its problem with vacant houses.

“The city has housing for 28,000 people but a population of 14,000,” he said. “To think that we can rehab that many houses and put them back to use in the next 50 years is just ridiculous.”

Andrejchak said he has confidence in Whalen’s company to chip away at the backlog of properties waiting for new occupants.

“We’ve gone back to take a look and he’s done a great job with those,” Andrejchak said. “We’re happy that he has an interest in fixing up more properties.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014