Posts filed under ‘city of lorain’

The Wondering Donspout wants to know? How Come???

disconnectres

How is it that “I” the discharging dangling- donspout” have to be connected in 6 days in the middle of winter
don-spout
and my neighbor up the street, who has been “hanging” around for 10 years was up for debate on council floor and

elmer“BUILDING INSPECTORS TAKE AIM AT SPITZER HOTEL” (IN 2013 NEARLY THREE YEARS AGO)

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20130702/NEWS/307029931
River. “It doesn’t send a very strong message to the rest of the community.”

City inspectors for months have been waiting for action on the building, Ritenauer said.

City inspectors viewed the site and listed multiple violations during a review Sept. 25, 2012. A notice of violation was mailed out the following month.

In February officials from owner Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd. Co. asked for more time to make repairs due to weather. The city granted the deadline extension to June 30 and stated the property would be reinspected on Monday.

It was unclear if city officials went out yesterday or exactly what enforcement action the city will take.

However, violations still are visible on the building and it appeared no work has been done, Ritenauer said.

Some of the violations were aesthetic, such as growth of weeds and faded paint.

But the building also has broken windows and its parking garage is “in poor structural condition,” the inspection report stated.

“Columns show signs of deterioration,” the report stated. “Repair required or provide proof from structural engineer indicating otherwise.”

“That parking garage is falling apart right now,” Ritenauer said. “It is unsafe.”

“It’s a safety risk,” Schuster said.

The building’s facades facing Broadway and Erie Avenue also are in need of repair. The building has an exterior net around it.

Ritenauer and Schuster said they would support any reasonable plan to restore the site.

“If it comes down or if it’s fixed, something has to happen,” Ritenauer said.

Then we waited for the development bus to stop at “Hairnet and Time”

Photo Lorain 365

Photo Lorain 365

AND we waited….. but apparently the wheels ( like the façade on my friend the Broadway Building) came off the bus

wheels

“About a year and a half ago, Spitzer entered into an agreement with ReTown to turn the building into market-priced apartments,” he said. “From there, the project was awarded a state historic tax credit of $440,203 as well as several federal tax credits, totaling a couple of million dollars.”
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/05/26/broadway-building-owner-given-september-deadline/

Giardini said that’s where the wheels came off.

Who is the “Driver” in all this wondering “Donspout wants to know”? You see my owner “fixed ” me in the allotted time- responsibility for one’s own “dangles ” comes to mind!!!!
And the Notorious Opponent of Exactitude Award goesspider-19 to Spitzer / Giardini

May 27, 2016 at 11:51 am Leave a comment

An open post to City of Lorain- The History of Frustration

meThis post actually started out as an email to City Council members but like the housing situation we find ourselves in and lack of accountability it too became too much and unwieldy- no one was going to read through it.

Lorain%20City%20Council%202016%20m1615
Photo Source – City of Lorain
There are any number of reasons Lorain finds itself in the housing position we are in today:
Joe Koziura
Mayor Koziura 1996-2000( now Council at Large) tried, along with then Building Inspector Mr. Murphy, to reign in the deteriorating homes and buildings in Lorain and lawyers😉
img272
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/the-pos-and-nuisance-ordinance-a-lesson-in-history/
housing court

This did not sit well with the mega landlords ( at the time ) and they supported Craig Foltin for Mayor .
craig foltinand friends
There was , imho, a let us appease those who are “squeaking” the wheel in 2005 – see article Broken Homes from the Chronicle – when a number of us went before Mayor Foltin and Mr. Desvari stating the deteriorating neighborhoods.

brokehomes which “chronicles” the situation. I re – chronicled the issues in May 2012.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/lorain-oh-broken-homes-broken-people-just-plain-broke-part-two/
Desvari
The then Building Inspector Bill Desvari , himself on charges before he died , gave token action to the problems .

Desvari’s most recent legal problems began in 2008 when Lorain police launched an investigation into his dealings as head of the city’s Building Department.

He was placed on leave in February 2008 as police probed complaints about problems with homes in the King’s Woods subdivision. That investigation expanded to include allegations that Desvari allowed an unlicensed cement contractor to operate in the city in exchange for the contractor doing work on Desvari’s Columbia Township home.

Desvari was indicted in July 2008 on charges dealing with the contractor and allegations that he failed to complete inspections and require permits on homes in New Century Village.

Another round of charges were brought in 2010 against Desvari that centered on two $5,000 loans Desvari received from men his attorney has described as friends. Prosecutors contend the loans were actually bribes.http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2012/08/06/former-lorain-official-dies-while-awaiting-trial/

We then had the Sub Prime Mortgage Crisis 2008 , for Lorain and “property procurers ” this gave them a huge “feeding frenzy” with very little controls from local government.

citylorain feeds

You have anecdotal situations brought before the media and City Council – the sound bites of frustration. We have had council people literally venting their frustration at meetings. AND although everyone seems to be on the same page with “doing something to stop the rot and turn around the older neighborhoods” for the most part hands are tied

brokenstar
The situation , imho, has become laughable , when even a junk car next to a church and in a neighborhood becomes “Where’s Waldo” ( the trashed car) How many weeks did this take only to have it moved to another junked property around the corner so to speak ?
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/don-the-downspout-says-lorain-in-a-fix/

The Art Car

The Art Car

artcarhome
We have any number of people “playing the system” ( judicial)the cost of doing business a mere fine and not having to abate issues.

There are so many of these situations , they are too many to document The whole system is broken because of a lack of respect, ( which can’t be legislated), lack of accountability ( which is not accounting for much) , a city with a declining job market and one of the biggest businesses in town – the rental business making profits don’t take my word for it Kent Sutton one of Lorain’s mega landlords and LELA members was quoted affirming the fact :

“We simply assure housing providers that they{LELA MEMBERS} are running a business not like any other business,” Sutton said. “The housing should be kept up to some condition of the neighborhood.” http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20120618/NEWS/306189973

The frustration of City Council Members , The Administration, ( and yes the Judicial, hamstrung by ineffective fines , time lines and legal lalala speak is clear – the frustration is spilling over in the neighborhoods and City Council floor as there does not seem to be a simple fix.

We have tweaking of our ordinances so that lawn mowers ( as seen from space) does not become an everyday occurrence because there was loophole in an ordinance that brought this one iconic situation before housing court for the past FIVE YEARS. .

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160523/lawn-mower-legislation-under-review-in-lorain
3200 jaeger road

The cry is we need jobs!!!! Let us look at that

When a Corporation/employer looks at a community in which to relocate they look at Infrastructure, School system, housing etc.

econres
http://www.forbescustom.com/EconomicDevelopmentPgs/CorpRelocationCurrentTrendsP1.html

What is the answer to our tale of woe……. well here is a clue :

that they- [ ED. NOTElandlords/ mega property owners} are running a business not like any other business………………………….


TO BE CONTINUED

May 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Don the Downspout Says: Lorain in a fix….

elmer

OH OH UPDATE FROM DON THE DOWNSPOUT!!!!: Councilman 2nd Ward Dennis Flores called yesterday- after a morning of Pride with an UPDATE on the “ART CAR:

The Art Car

The Art Car

Seems even 2 council persons, the Building Dept. the City of Lorain Administration, the Law Dept. and prayers to on high didn’t get this vehicle removed to an appropriate place – No! the Art Car has a new viewing gallery just around the corner from its previous our door space. 1504 Lexington –
1504 Lexington

owned by Jerrod Biebrick
Parcel Number: 0201003138012
Owner: JB PATRIOT PROPERTIES VI LLC
Location Address: 1504 UP LEXINGTON AVE LORAIN, OH 44052
Tax Bill Mailed To: 3946 DUNTON RD LORAIN, OH 44055
to a new home also owned by Mr. Biebrick


1763 Oakdale Ave:

0201003144013
Owner: JB PATRIOT PROPERTIES VI LLC
Location Address: 1763 OAKDALE AVE LORAIN, OH 44052
Tax Bill Mailed To: 3946 DUNTON RD LORAIN, OH 44055
1702artcarhome
and the rest of the gallery presents:
two gares
tire art

OH! don’t let the dingle dangle – dangle in the dirt…….. You can see he owes back taxes but just before foreclosure he agreed to a payment plan- -”

As it stands – the property owner was slated to lose 38 properties through foreclosure through the tax delinquent process for a total of ~$232k back taxes.
Nearly a week and a half ago the owner redeemed these properties by paying the first installment of a payment plan with the prosecutor’s office/treasurer.
The offshoot is that none of these cases are dismissed – they will remain open until such time as the owner completes payments of delinquency – or­- defaults on the payments (at which time the prosecutor will step back in and the land bank will continue involvement.)”

Well by the time he pays those off I will be dangling again !

disconnectres

You remember me , Guest Blogger Don the Downspout.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/outdoor-showrooms-lorain-by-don-the-downspout/

I was dangling in January had to be fixed by February, whilst the cold winter winds blew across the lake.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/

The system in Lorain only works for the law-abiding, not the law circumventing.
As you drive around this town, there are manicured lawns to rubbish dumps.

The owner of the roof -where I reside -( not dangling or discharging) stopped filing “formal complaints” with the Building Dept. a long time ago. As you can see from the previous post,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
had she done so the Lorain Building Dept would have been inundated just on this street. No ! she just vents on this blog and facebook as quite frankly she believes the system is broken and useless so not much use in complaining officially anyway.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/the-cowboys-of-lorain-no-more-shooting-blanks-part-7/
Now why would I say that- after all I DON THE DOWNSPOUT had my dangling and discharging self fixed in the time allotted.

The Art Car

The Art Car


Let us take a look at 1504 Lexington , Lorain….. the house was bad enough BUT for months 2nd Ward Councilman Dennis Flores had been trying to get this piece of “work” moved.

You see there is a lovely old church across the way and parishioners, I am told ,were even praying to a higher authority than here in Lorain to do something. Finally, Councilwoman a Large Mary Springkowski announced on Facebook a couple of days ago the “art car” now in pieces -thanks to strippers- had been removed. Simple thing you would think to remove an unsightly piece of junk, other communities do it all the time.

Well hold up – not so easy in Lorain- apparently according to the owner of the property -Jerrod Biebrick- when he was in court for this and other violations on April 6th told the Magistrate, the woman who had rented from him had signed the title over to a moneylender and they had the title so it was their property and that was the issue.

JB

Excuse me Lorain- your system is laughable – to remove one disgraceful eyesore – one mere vehicle – it took months of complaints- two council people – one Director of Building Planning and Housing – building inspectors, building dept. personal, heaven knows the paperwork – court dates – and a bench trial date – and possibly God just to remove one solitary safety issue- a junked stripped vehicle.

Is it any wonder we have a historic building with a hair net getting more historic every day as she has sat there year after year – over 10 years. Could have fought world War two twice over in that time!!!!

Photo Lorain 365

Photo Lorain 365


. Can’t even get rid of the Art Car in a timely manner.
1820
Then there is the house on 1820 Long – this is another house that Councilman Flores has asked for help with – the mere fact this house was purchased in 2008 by Brenda Torres from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development- from the Auditors Site

Sale Date: 10/14/2008
Sale Amount: $0.00
Conveyance: 2008093880
Grantor: SECRETARY OF HOUSING URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Grantee: TORRES BRENDA
Number of Parcels: 1

well 8 years later and it doesn’t look like one penny in taxes has been paid

Full Year Tax Before Adjustment: $2,149.76
State Credit: $265.68
Subtotal: $1,884.08
Non-business Credit: $0.00
Owner Occupancy Credit: $0.00
Homestead Credit: $0.00
Annual Real Estate Tax: $1,884.08
Current Special Assessment: $0.00
Delinquent Special Assessment: $1,720.77
Unpaid Taxes: $16,105.04
Full Tax Year: $19,804.09
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00

We have given up on asking people to pay their taxes apparently, because we don’t want to foreclose on those properties- there are so many of them and the Land Bank can only take down or rehab a fraction. Nobody wants them!!!!!!
However the mess that neighbors have to look at – 1820 Long ( yesterday )
1820 Long

and 1820 2

But one of the statements I find so ironic in my place from on high is being told “an inspector didn’t want to give a written citation to an individual because it was a neighborhood fight” and a personal issue. errrrrrrrrrr sorry but the Building Dept. set a precedent with me of the dangling downspout that cold January Day….. Don the Dangling Downspout has a long memory and all things should be equal in the land of maintenance coding. Seems to me you inserted yourselves into that situation- tit for tat- quite nicely and very quickly…….and now those beans😉
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/the-dyenamics-of-inspections-time-lines-lorain/

May 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm 6 comments

Money where your Mouth Is- Part One

11274

I can’t believe I have lived in this old house for over 40 years . I was young , full of hope and dreams when we came to see this old house during a dark winter evening.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/kinks-past-hyphenated-lorain-loraine-pt-5/
And now- we are the residents who have lived here the longest.
I strongly believe we have paid our dues over the years – remaining here on 4th Street!
Graphics Chris Ritchey

We have seen the trials and tribulations of this block- lived through the motor cycle gangs, the drug dealers, any number of domestic violence calls – drug arrests – hmm and those were just in the one house!

We had the arsonists, the chop shop , the “family” burglars, a family gang ( that was just one family).

We have, along the alley way that connects Hamilton and Oberlin Ave, 4th and 5th streets, people shooting themselves and at each other ,drug deals , petty robberies and some not so petty , one tried for murder and condemned to death http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/filiaggi1071.htm one house being blown sky high ( as I drove past ) which was terrifying!
That wasn’t the first house either ( sigh)
.
Ducks-in-Muck-Collage

Source http://kindercraze.com/uck-word-family-reading-response-and/
THEN there was the semi truck driver ( parked his truck and trailer on the street) whilst the 18 relatives lived in the three bedroom home. He built on the rear sunroom with a hot tub, this became the menagerie for caged snakes, tropical fish and the hot tub a duck pond.

The ducks routinely escaped, probably wanting to visit the chickens and much running around screaming at the ducks would occur. When the overflow from the house became too much large tents were put in the front yard. Eventually the home was foreclosed upon – “once again”- and a pattern that was followed at least twice more.

There are a lot more stories on the 4th street block – too many- looking back I wonder why we stayed -Oh that is right! I loved this house and the friends we made and now it is my “sanctuary”.

Over the years the decorating and landscaping for this old house was arranged around blocking views from her windows to the outside lifestyles.
windowcol

and living from the inside out as other peoples lifestyles intruded into our home.
perez1

garbage
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/welcome-to-fairyland-aka-in-the-pink-lorain-ohio/
heneryhamilton
Luckily , not all was doom and gloom we also had some great neighbors who kept up their properties throughout the years and so we didn’t give up the ship!
http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

I have changed however, turned from one full of dreams and hope to an “old” curmudgeon , cynical and getting through what life is left to me. I have learned you can’t legislate respect for others. To be honest I have just wanted to pull my shrubs up around me and disappear from life in Lorain . I am tired and overwhelmed with grief.

One thing that has NOT changed is my philosophy of putting my money ( or time and effort) where my mouth is and following through on what I said I would do . It was something I always taught my children and yes especially my son and he used the concept in his adverting concept – ironically he used a RED DUMP TRUCK in the ad!:

ad concept Chris Ritchey

ad concept Chris Ritchey

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/money-where-your-mouth-is-chris-ritchey/

The lot next door-1125- was always a problem from the very first. On this lot was a little brown house ( probably an in- law home at one time) as it was on the same lot along with a larger home. That larger house, a few days after we moved in, was in the process of having her wrap around porch demoed and downstairs windows on the west side covered over and a picture window added to the front – well it was the late 70″s after all. However, what once looked very similar to this
example
became a big blue box- nothing architecturally pleasing or even a remembrance left of what she once was. Then the house was foreclosed!
3040599

After two or was it three landlord/ purchases and a myriad of tenants – one entrepreneur had the lot split.
34.50 4th Streetres

The little brown house had 1125 various occupants and owners and each chapter in its history found a deteriorating progression both of house and just who would rent it .

In the end we had mother nature taking care of the problem .11254th
house 4th

grass

Eventually a new situation with the “less than loved” happened, one that totally blind sided us – who would have thought it would become a drive through ? The little brown house ( once on the architectural register ) had to be demolished and it became the City of Lorain’s property – at least I knew the grass would be cut and it was . BUT then it became the “through way” for those using the alley as a cut through not being bothered to go to the alley end- just drive through to 4th street using “highway” 1125. It also became a parking lot!

Time and time again I watched as cars and trucks made the property their own personal driveway and over flow parking lot for residents, visitors, boats and construction businesses parking.
This traffic flowed without any thought to the newly poured concrete sidewalks etc. they routinely ran over.

I have to admit this situation of having boats and ski-doos parked on the front lawn of did annoy ( although the shrubs thank goodness hid a lot of eyesores) .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


I was woken many morning with the backing up of a dump truck and its high pitched warning beep beep! beep beep! Watching cars going by under the den window or the antics of those trying to make the turns with the long trailers ( funny as it was to watch) was not amusing in the long run because this situation was not a one off. It was happening almost every day!

4th street
I blessed the shrubs and trees on 1125, they stopped traffic from becoming two-way . Over grown they may have been but their greenery was preferable to the alternative
shrubs

The extremely large tree blocked the “sight lines” of the property next door –
tree before

removing me from the sight of garbage cans left to overflow on the front porch next door until it would eventually blow into my front yard.

garbageres

Then we had to come to a decision ….

To be continued….

May 17, 2016 at 10:30 am 4 comments

Abate the wait- Lorain’s Housing Court- OBJECTION

Update Editorial re the Morning Journal on Lorain’s Housing situation

http://www.morningjournal.com/opinion/20160514/editorial-toughen-penalties-for-lorain-housing-code-violators

Basically the City of Lorain and her housing court is not there to punish but to abate the issues that come before the court.

Last evening a two-hour discussion on the situation of poor housing and buildings took place before Lorain City Council Building and Lands Committee meeting.
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160509/lorain-council-demands-more-housing-code-enforcement

riley_law_director
Law Director Pat Riley spent a sizeable period time explaining “rights” and informing Magistrate Cook what he could and couldn’t talk about. I found that a little condescending actually, I am sure Magistrate Cook was aware of those limitations.

Mary Springowski Lorain Council At Large

Mary Springowski Lorain Council At Large


A heated exchange took place shortly after the Law Director’s explanation with Councilwoman at Large- Mary Springowski and Law Director Riley.

Mrs. Springowski vented the frustration of those who are affected by the seemingly lack of accountability and the “wait time” , the frustrations of city council members as they field the calls from constituents , dealing with the conditions of homes and businesses in their wards, pointing out the tax payers also have rights .

Law Director Riley then “lectured” on the law and accused Councilwoman Springowski of “grandstanding and being grandiose”. I am not sure if that was the place of a Law Director who is there to represent council. The “debate” on his part became personal. Mr. Riley would do well to remember ( in this frustrated for 40 years opinion) the “law department is part of the “frustrating situation”.

dennis Flores
Dennis Flores , Councilman for the 2nd Ward has been a companion of mine as I have attended Housing Court recently, he too has seen the process.He too is frustrated with the system, from the “lack of service” ( getting the people into court in the first place). The system weighty and unwieldy.

Cook
Magistrate Cook was at the microphone on point so to speak but I was disappointed the prosecutor’s office ” was not at the mic.

You see every decision made in Housing Court, Magistrate Cook always asks ” is the prosecutor in agreement” and the prosecutor of the day signs off , whether it is dismissal, abatement, sending to bench trial etc. Not once did the prosecutor object at any time I attended court. Lorain’s legal department, in this lay person opinion, needs to remember “they are representing the tax payers of Lorain and the City of Lorain.” They too, bear responsibility to represent us and City Council’s endeavors to correct a situation of Lorain’s building and housing that has been years and years in the making .

The system certainly needs speeding up, the Prosecutors Office needs to play a part in the process. The frustration felt by city officials must be pale in comparison to the Building Planning and Housing Dept. whose inspectors are having to deal with situations day and day out.

I have stated in previous posts on Housing Court the “owner occupied ” issues coming before the court , the average Joe seemed to have a high rate of abating their issues, at least when I attended. I understand that when one of these mega property owners come before the court they cannot have their other disgraceful properties taken into consideration, the magistrate has to go by the “case” in front of him however, the fines are such they can build it into the cost of doing business. Business, yes! because that is what it is one of the largest business in Lorain.

We pay the salaries of “professionals” in our law department to represent the rights of Lorain….

Duties of the Law Director

The City Law Director is elected for a term of four years. The responsibilities of the office include:
•Serves as legal counsel for all elected officials, directors and councilpersons of the City of Lorain
•Preparing all contracts, bonds, ordinances and written instruments in which the City of Lorain is concerned.
•Responsible for prosecuting and defending all complaints, suits and controversies in which the City of Lorain is a party.
•Responsible for reviewing ordinances to be considered by Lorain City Council.
•Serves as prosecuting attorney for the Lorain Municipal Court; prosecuting cases for the City of Lorain and Sheffield Township.

Time to step up and Object to the wait for abate…… some of us are in the firing line for speaking out…..
window

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/housing-court-judge/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/housing-and-the-judge-part-4/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/lorains-lost-housing-and-political-machinations/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-wayback-machine-is-a-lesson-not-learned/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/the-housing-tale-a-history-not-a-mystery-just-bank-business/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/housing-court-judge/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/the-housing-court-judge-part-two/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/plump-lady-plummets-and-the-housing-trip-continues/
to be continued

May 10, 2016 at 10:46 am 1 comment

Lorain Development Corp- the revolving- evolving story!

http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/04/26/city-cuts-ties-with-lorain-development-corp/
A further update: Lorain cuts the cord with Lorain Development Corp:
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160424/lorain-cuts-ties-with-business-development-loan-board
UPDATE: The President of the Lorain Development Corp states the Board view

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160415/loan-program-does-good-for-lorain-review-board-president-says

A year ago April 15th, 2015 I wrote the post “Money for Old Rope – A Taxpayers Question”
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/money-for-old-rope-a-taxpayers-question/
I had once again been to a City Council Meeting and I didn’t like the report being given to City Council on a loan with regard to the Lorain Development Corporation
prime_industries

The exchange between council and Director Rangel can be found here- page three
3-16-15regmin https://thatwoman.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/3-16-15regmin.pdf

“Unfortunately I remembered $100,000 dollars with much hoopla being given to Prime Industries. http://www.loraincounty.com/manufacturing/feature.shtml?f=12666
prime_industries and media success stories such as the Morning Journal article October 2010- ALL “SOUNDED” VERY PROMISING
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20101003/prime-industries-prospers-by-going-after-niche-markets

Local customers include amusement park Cedar Point, which turns to Prime Industries for safety harnesses for its gravity-defying rides.
In addition to making new parts for Cedar Point, Prime Industries refurbishes safety harnesses after thousands of roller-coaster passengers have worn them out…..
… Other local customers include Invacare Corp., in Elyria; Bettcher Industries, in Florence Township; Nordson Corp., in Westlake; and Latanick Equipment Inc., in Huron. Prime Industries also makes parts for missiles built by Lockheed-Martin for use by U.S. armed forces in Iraq. With more than 500 customers, the company started as a division, called Advanced Foam and Plastics, of Kindt-Collins Co., based in Cleveland
The headline is a bit misleading( prospers???) because halfway through the article the history states:

Advanced Foam and Plastics was created to serve the foundry industry, but by 1984 it was known as Prime Design.
In 1997, Prime Design received $292,000 from Lorain to relocate here from Cleveland, creating 22 jobs.

A $100,000 loan from the city in 2000 helped expand, but by 2002 Prime Industries was up for sale
AND THEN
First, Rich and Joe Persico paid off the $292,000 loan from 1997, and then put up $145,000 of their own capital.

“Then” the city of Lorain loaned them $400,000 and a Warren bank also loaned them $400,000 in 2002 Prime Design became Prime Industries.
In May 2008, Lorain loaned the company $100,000 to gain new contracts. That is $600.000 by my calculations we have had some back in the employee income tax but still money for old rope imho.

leon
Eight months earlier, August 28th Lorain appointed a new Director of Building, Housing and Planning Department- Leon Mason .


The name of the department had changed from Community Development Dept (headed for decades by Sanford Prudoff) to Building Housing and Planning
http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20130614/NEWS/306149982


In three decades under former director Sanford “Sandy” Prudoff, Community Development grew into a overly large department with too little accountability to city leaders and providing too little benefit to Lorain, Ritenauer noted…………..
Prudoff controlled the agenda of how to spend CDBG money in the city with the administration and council seemed to have little say about what projects the city should do or skip, Ritenauer said.

Those determinations were “completely opposite of chain of command and hierarchy,” Ritenauer said.

It appeared the department grew to maximize the salaries for administering federal CDBG money granted to Lorain, Ritenauer said.

30 years , missing paperwork, things getting lax, housekeeping by the way side, the paperwork is either non-existent or “lost”, not complete in some cases.And it appears certain developers( who shall remain nameless in case I am accused of chasing him out of town again)😉 getting a great many trips to the ATM that was seemingly Lorain ? How many jobs have been created???

speak the truth
Trust– comes into play here , in my humble opinion:

TRUST– the employee that his “boss” knows what he is doing and is aware of legal ramifications !

TRUST – by volunteer boards the items brought before them are “above-board!

TRUST – by the Administraton -their departments heads, hired for their expertise, know what they are doing and are working with one goal in mind to better the City of Lorain!

TRUST by a City Council they can act upon the advice of those department “leaders”.

One area breaks down in that circle of trust and the ripple effect finally hits the shore with a great crashing sound, as it did last night in City Council Chambers .This morning’s headlines read :
Lorain Council Rips into Business Loan report by Rick Payerchin – Morning Journal
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160411/lorain-council-rips-into-business-loan-report

and ” Lorain revolving loan program has $600,000 in write-offs- by Katie Nix”

Lorain revolving loan program has $600,000 in write-offs

As Mr. Mason stated, the issues with the revolving Loan fund came to him from the State Auditor

I got an email from the state auditor who wanted to know why the city of Lorain had over $600,000 in loan write-offs,” department director Leon Mason said. “My response was that I didn’t know what he was talking about, and when he sent me the information, I was able to pinpoint some of the loans, but I did find some that were troubling, to say the least.”
Mason said one that stood out to him was a $250,000.01 loan to the South Shore Community Development Corporation.

Lorain works to save center, and its tenants

South Shore took ownership of the St. Joseph facility in 1997 after St. Joseph Hospital merged with Lorain Community Hospital to create Community Health Partners. An $800,000 federal grant was used to get the building ready for its new tenants. Additional grants and loans were secured to bring it to its current condition.
The state has $1.4 million in loans invested in the community center, while the county and the city each have $700,000 in loans tied to the center. If South Shore files for bankruptcy, the state, county and city will be on the hook for those loans. Gilchrist said the city’s payments on its loan would be about $50,000 a year. Lorain is currently $1.3 million in the red.

After the loans are repaid by recipients, the money is intended to go back to another business.

prudoffres
With the notoriety gained by the Federal Investigation of Sanford Prudoff and Lorain Community Development is it any wonder the State and Federal Government are “checking” what has been happening?
Prudoff sc

Lorain works to save center, and its tenants

Federal Funds have certain rules which must be adhered to and Lorain has to be stringent in following those rules- other wise we are in trouble.

Should Lorain have to pay back those monies in question then the General Fund takes a huge hit and we can’t afford even that one dollar hit!
budgetres
cash-cow
Hopefully, the program changes, the rules are followed and the “iffy factor” becomes totally transparent.

Although, due to a possible investigation in the loan for South Shore Development Corporation,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/st-joes-community-center-three-legged-stool-one-missing-leg/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/st-joes-community-center-lets-get-fiscal-physical-lets-get-real/
not a lot was said ( under the Krasienko/ Gilchrist era) that money $250,000,and ONE dollar would give our General Fund a huge hit. Let us hope the Administration, Law Dept. and City Council will support each other on this and get to the very bottom of the “pot of gold- for some”

I remember under the Foltin Administration and Prudoff those “allowable ???” expenses paid to wine and dine the Shawnee and Capital One “tribe” initially, before I asked questions and then after??? well it was rolled over into a bond and I could no longer get the breakdown of all the monies spent but this country club of cash sure sent my red flags flying at the time- Dinner was literally on us!!!!!!

Casino expensesre

Lorain Development Corporation did respond to my post last April and it can be found here :

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/lorain-development-corp-lorain-op-ed/
Logo%20and%20Heading%204-11(1)
1)I prepare a loan write-up that provides a background of the project with financial information and the justification for approving the loan.

(2)Once I have completed, I provide this to the loan board for their review and approval.
We do this process just like bank’s credit teams do and have discussion and if everything is okay, loan approves the credit. They can also reject loan requests or modify them though these do not happen too often.

The loan board are various professionals in insurance, banking, law, small business owners, etc. who all live in, work in or own businesses in the City of Lorain. This board has been a self-appointing board since its inception and they are not appointed by administration or council. Board tries to keep a mix of professionals on board so it is not all bankers or attorneys but a mix. They are an all-volunteer board and most of these individuals have been on board from a few years to one person who has been on board since inception over 25 years ago.

Once the board approves the loan credit, all loans are submitted to Board of Control for approval as they will eventually sign for the loan.
http://www.cityoflorain.org/mayor/

Once board of control approves, we move to documentation of loan with all documents reviewed and approved by City’s Law Department. At that time, we also open a purchase order to commit money and submit check requests when we receive necessary documentation requesting funds.
hudimg
Loans are derived from two sources, one through HUD http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD and the other through the Economic Development Administration.
http://www.eda.gov/

You can find the PDF files of Director Mason’s report here:
Economic Development Final
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Economic%20Development%20Review%20FINAL%20PDF.pdf
LDC Conflict of Interest Policy
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Lorain%20Development%20Corp%20Conflict%20of%20Interest%20Policy.pdf
LDC Subrecipient Agreement
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_LDC%20Subrecipient%20Agreement%20PDF.pdf
Portfolio Quality Report
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Portfolio%20Quality%20Report.pdf
EDA Title IX Plan
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_EDA%20Title%20IX%20Revolving%20Loan%20Fund%20Plan.pdf

April 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm 11 comments

Plump Lady Plummets – and the housing trip continues

Update : I received the following communication from Kaja Holdings/ Vision Properties as to the fact I had linked Harbour Portfolio with his clients Please see below :

Dear Ms. Ritchey:
It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with you on Wednesday. It is important for every community to have concerned citizens that care enough to voice their opinions on important issues. As a lifelong resident of Lorain County, I appreciate your efforts to preserve the history of Lorain. I especially appreciate your work for Charleston Village Society.

I write to kindly ask you to correct an inaccuracy in your April 7, 2016 blog post. In your post, you state that I may be able to assist the City of Lorain in serving Harbour Portfolio with complaints for Housing Code/POS violations, stating that my clients (Kaja and Vision) are all “part and parcel of the same grouping”. You brought up your suspicion that my clients and Harbour were related entities when we met on Wednesday and I observed Councilman Flores delivering the same message to Assistant Prosecutor Holmes in Court.
I have conferred with my clients and they have confirmed that Kaja and Vision are in no way related, whether directly or indirectly, with Harbour. They share no common ownership, staff, office space or other connection. One is not the subsidiary of the other, they are not sister companies and they do not work together in any fashion. Harbour is a competitor of Kaja and Vision. I respectfully request that you alter your post, print a retraction or otherwise clarify that the companies are not related.

Thank you,
J.R. White James R. White, Attorney at Law

Wurmser house 031716-001

Yesterday, I once again made my way to Lorain Municipal Housing Court, as readers know, I have been there a couple of times. In 2009 Lorain County Photographer’s blog ran a series of thoughts from Judge Pianka from Cleveland’s Housing Court https://clevelandmunicipalcourt.org/judicial-services/meet-the-judges/judge-raymond-l-pianka
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=304 http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=305

“Gee, there are people using the civil side of the court to evict people, but on the criminal side they were ignoring our summonses and complaints. So, it caused some cognitive dissonance on my part. So, we decided that you can’t just come into court and use one side of the court, the civil side, but ignore the criminal side of the court”


In 2009 this Lorain County blog – Lorain County Photographers Blog http://www.locophotogblog.com/ was feeling the frustration some of us, in the City of Lorain, had been feeling and documenting for years. There were hundreds of photographs taken, words written trying to find a way to keep our older neighborhoods free from blight from 2005 onwards. The time line for the above series was, of course, right in the middle of the Sub- Prime Crisis caused by banks and idiotic mortgages.

8 years have passed since the sub-prime mortgage debacle and Lorain is still feeling the ripple effects, Fannie Mae , Deutsche Bank , Freddie Mac etc. all selling off those write off mortgages to the LLC’s, a number out of state , such as Kaja Holdings, Harbour Portfolio, Vision Properties . You can find my thoughts here:
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-loraine/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-housing-court-and-you-lorain-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

You can also find the article from the New York Times on this group of LLC’s here on the what is happening .

Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers By MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN and ALEXANDRA STEVENSONFEB. 20, 2016

One of the larger firms in this market, Harbour has bought more than 6,700 single-family homes in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and a handful of other states since 2010 — most of them from Fannie Mae, according to the mortgage finance firm and the foreclosure research firm RealtyTrac.

Ten of the more than 50 homes Harbour bought in Akron have been torn down after being condemned and two others are slated for demolition

Harbour and its founder, Charles A. Vose III

I was at the court to see what was happening with the Point of Sale Icon House 1348, West Erie now owned by Kaja Holding/ Vision Properties etc etc etc.

I was curious to see what progress had been made if any or where the “abatement” stood. Pictures of the front steps etc taken a few days before court left me a bit wary as to “tripping hazards”. Turns out I should have been wary of the concrete lip outside City Hall.
Wurmser house 031716 door
As I entered City Hall- well not quite entered- as I fell flat on my face – I went down with an almighty thump. There is some good that comes out of being on the plump side – my fat shock absorbers , absorbed. It was so embarrassing as my chin hit the concrete and I went flat out. I was mortified, especially when the policemen ( running security at the door) rushed to my aid and it took two of them to hoist my “knocked the breath out of me frame” to vertical once more.

“I am fine really , just help me up, no honestly I am fine . she said hoping to salvage some dignity

Now why should I have felt ashamed and embarrassed , it was not my fault just one of those things, but I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. However, my mood and the pain in my head and neck from the jarring of the hitting the concrete left me less than tolerant when it came to Housing Court that afternoon .

snooty
Now the main purpose of taking people and LLC’s to court is not to punish ( so I am told) but to “abate the conditions as cited by our housing inspectors Well that makes sense .

Maybe it was the pain, the left over mortification from the half an hour before but I can say that some , actually three of the “supposed to be working for the city ‘s best interest” employees left me wishing I was a caricature artist. They would do well to remember they are working on the taxpayer’s dime , I was wondering if my dimes were being spent well.

The one, who decidedly made the most impression in my pain addled thoughts, was “Miss Looks like she is smelling bad fish” – nose so far in the air it is a wonder she didn’t trip over herself. Can you tell this in my opinion officious official really , as we say in England , got right up my nose!!!” But then I remembered I was not there to critique theatre but then again………….
Joe Koziura
You see, I am totally frustrated and fed up! Some of us were bleating on about the city and her housing long before the sub prime crisis.

One Mayor ( Joe Koziura) literally lost his campaign for re-election due to coming down hard on housing. I wonder if things would’ve been different had he succeeded instead of the loved by the landlords candidate Craig Foltin who backed off an aggressive stance by the Building Dept 2000 and look where we are NOW!!!!

article found here brokehomes
BROKEN HOMES
How abandoned houses are hurting Lorain, and how the city is trying to fight back

Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher
The Chronicle-Telegram

It’s not hard to find examples of crimes linked to abandoned or all-but-abandoned homes in Lorain. The crimes are an extreme example of the kind of “negative effect on the neighborhood stability and economic vitality of the city” that state auditors warned Lorain of a year ago.
“By not administering its code enforcement, property maintenance and building programs, it is difficult for the city to preserve its housing stock,” auditors wrote in their report.

Now Lorain, which had not come close to matching other cities its size in the vigor of its housing enforcement, has acted on recommendations made by the state auditors to hire two additional housing inspectors. The new inspectors started with the city in April………….

……Beyond that, the new housing inspectors have gotten only a lukewarm endorsement from Mayor Craig Foltin, who defeated his predecessor in 1999 in part by making an issue of what he characterized as an overly aggressive Building Department…….
craig_foltin
“We feel that if they don’t have a successful plan and aren’t self-sufficient and nice to people, then we will not continue with them,” Foltin said recently of the inspectors…..

down spoutres
Some of us are tired of fixing our properties and “ABATING” without going to court – doing the right thing because we should take care of our property. No matter if it was “vindictive” behavior that caused the inspections in the first place😉

Some of us are really angry how the “playing the system” works for multi property owners, who “prostitute the homes , buy cheap ,rent them out, and don’t pay property taxes and then walk away or dump them on some poor unsuspecting sucker in a rent to own scheme. The out-of-town LLC’s clustering together, confusing the cities and counties where they form like blobs of greed growing bigger with each added LLC. .
lexington

Why should the little guy in this city suffer when the MEGA property owners are, in my opinion, prostituting these properties.

Why should our property values decline because of trash housing?

Why should we be punished our neighborhoods looked at with scorn ?

It infuriates me when people I have been writing about for years just keep gathering more and more , paying less and less and in some case not even bothering with the property taxes walking away or even dying – leaving the trapped tax payer holding the bag and looking forlornly at what has happened to their neighborhoods. Sixteen years on and we are still on the same trip!

To be continued …………….

April 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm 1 comment

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