JUNK: Ordinance violator answers to commissioners

COLUMBIA CITY — In recent weeks, Whitley County officials have made several requests to commissioners in regards to neglected properties. Scott Wagner, environmental health specialist for the county, updated the Whitley County Commissioners on the status of the property located on CR 400 South in Columbia City, owned by Thomas Ebetino. Earlier this month, Bob Sutton, a homeowner on CR 400 South, came before the commissioners to complain about the excessive junk piling up at Ebetino’s property and the overgrown, neglected yard. “There are stacks of siding, 15 different vehicles, a semi trailer and different machines piled all over the yard. The house should be condemned,” Sutton told county leaders at a previous meeting. “The first complaint was filed in 2006. It was fine for a while, but then it’s back to the same thing again. It’s an ongoing problem, but now it’s worse.”Since that meeting, Wagner has been in contact with the owner, and Ebetino was present at Monday’s meeting to answer for the condition of his property.“I put up a pole barn, and then a tornado came through in June of 2010 and took it out,” Ebetino said. “I was in an accident, my father died in April and there’s been vandalism to the backhoe parked there. I was using that to clean up the property, but now I can’t.”Commissioner Tom Rethlake offered his sympathy for Ebetino’s personal issues, however he still wanted the owner to take responsibility for the property’s condition.To read the rest of this story, see the Sept. 20 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.