72 Wing Street

The 3-13-13 Newark Advocate runs a front page story stating that the city’s Development Director (Mark Mauter) recommends that the city repay close to $34,000. It is either that or spend $50,000 to fulfill a 2009 Community Housing Improvement Program grant. The grant was to cover the rehabilitation of 72 Wing St, a Newark rental property. As mentioned in this blog’s initial postings re: Vital Statistics, the recent US census shows 43% of Newark properties are non-owner occupant. In the case of 72 Wing St, the Advocate quotes the owner, a James J. Washburn of Pataskala, as saying “The city is responsible for repaying the state, and there is nothing I have to repay. We’ll have to figure out between me and the tenant how to take care of the issues that remain.” The Licking County auditor’s tax card shows the market value of the residence as being $37,500. It also shows that although there was a joint survivorship deed issued with the initial property purchase by the Washburn’s in 2002 (for $34,000), in 2009 there was an exempt conveyance of the deed to James J. Washburn Trustee (of a trust, corporation or association). Although the Advocate may be technically correct, the same year the Community Housing Improvement Program grant was utilized, Mr. Washburn put some legal distance between this non-owner occupied property and any liabilities or responsibilities he (and his family) may have. He was correct in stating “The city is responsible for repaying the state, and there is nothing I have to repay. We’ll have to figure out between me and the tenant how to take care of the issues that remain.” His tenant, the people who actually live there (the residents of 72 Wing St.),  now find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

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