Smelly House Gets Attention
The Fulton County Health Department has ordered Huntington Bank to clean up a vacant house at 210 Wilson Street.
A smell emanates from the house, where Health Department officials say three to four feet of water stands in the basement.
During the Monday night, May 3 meeting, village councilmen were shown a copy of an April 23 letter from the Health Department to Huntington Bank’s Columbus office.
Records on file with the Fulton County auditor office show the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) owns the property, but correspondence goes to Huntington Bank. Fannie Mae took ownership on Feb. 21, 2007.
Carma Grime, Archbold zoning inspector, said in the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009 she worked to keep the lawn mowed. Village workers were mowing the lawn and billing the property owner, but later, the property owner made lawn care arrangements.
Grime said neighbors complained about a smell from the house; but as zoning inspector, she can only deal with problems on the outside of a house or building.
In June 2009, she notified the health department about the problem.
Mike Oricko, Fulton County Health Commissioner, said Huntington Bank was contacted about the house.
He said bank officials told health department workers they were looking at filing an insurance claim, and were getting bids to resolve the problem.
But nothing has been done. As a result, the health department sent the April 23 letter to the bank.
The letter states health department workers inspected the home from the outside and discovered the water in the basement. They attributed the odor problem to the standing water.
Oricko said Fulton County has a housing ordinance.
If a property owner fails to comply with health department orders, authorized under the housing ordinance, health department workers refer the case to the Fulton County prosecutor office.
Prosecutors then decide whether or not to file charges in court.
“In the end, it’s up to the courts if they (property owners) don’t comply,” Oricko said.
The Archbold Buckeye attempted to contact Huntington Bank officials Tuesday, who did not respond by press time.
Monday night, the odor could be detected from the street in front of the vacant house.
Grime said she has been in the yard “and caught a slight whiff, because a basement window was open.
"It wasn’t an assault on my nose,” she said, but added something needs to be done.
“Sometimes these things move slower than one would like,” Oricko said. –David Pugh