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I-Team: Officials move to tear down ‘problem property’ in Jenkins Township

I-Team

JENKINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A long-time problem property in Jenkins Township has a date with the wrecking ball and for people who live near the place, it could not come soon enough.

Neighbors called the I-Team for help after they say nothing was being done by the property owners and township officials to resolve a situation.

Neighbors are convinced that our report on the dilapidated condition of the property late last month helped move the township to take action. The property on Mitchell Street has been the source of so much concern of people who live in the neighborhood.

Township officials say it is targeted for demolition by the end of the month.

Bob Davidson says he and his fellow neighbors are living in fear of this dilapidated property as parts of the home appear to be on the verge of collapse.

“One of the things is like I have a fear of the place actually catching fire possibly damaging my garage. Looking around the neighborhood there these are nice homes, people take care of them,” said Davidson.

Davidson says he and his neighbors have had to look at and be concerned about the proerpty at 19 Mitchell Street for, at least, the past decade. Jenkins Township officials condemned the place in 2019 and told residents and the I-Team on April 19, they were trying to work with the property owners to resolve the situation. At that time there was no yellow caution tape around the property. Neighbors say that changed this past week, tape was strung around the proeprty and a letter dated April 20 was posted on the property advising the owners it would be torn down unless they fixed it up or tore it down themselves.

“So, I believe that after this was on the news, that the people in Jenkins Township, the supervisors, really took a good look at it, decided that it’s time to do something. I’m very appreciative of that.”

The I-Team spoke with Jenkins Township supervisor chairman Stanley Rovinski.

“We had the letter authored it was stored in the computer. All we had to do was put a date on it and send. We were holding it out to see if we get a reply. It’s basically a form letter so we were holding it… The letter was authored way before that probably,” said Rovinski.

The letter went out one day after the story aired on Eyewitness News.

Rovinski says the township was trying to work with the owners of the property.

When asked about if the property should have been dealt with a long time ago, Rovinski responded with the following comment:

“No, I think the staff did the right thing. They gave, just like you would want or anybody else would want, an opportunity to resolve these issues and dispose of the property properly without government coming in and interceding.”

Rovinski tells the I-Team that bids have been accepted to tear down the home and unless they hear from the property owners, it will be torn down.

We have been trying to reach the owners of the property for comment, but we have not heard back.

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