2007-09-29 / News

Who owns the property?

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON- Everyone acknowledges there's a problem, but no one's quite sure who's responsible to solve it.

Beaver Run Road resident Walter Hockman told the Union Township Trustees Sept. 17 that his neighbor is encroaching upon his property and destroying it, particularly around his driveway, which is actually part of old Ohio 79. It was Hockman's understanding that the township was responsible for the property and he asked the trustees to make his neighbor leave him alone.

Trustee Jack Justice said that he sympathized with Hockman, but he'd need a description of the property and proof that it was to be maintained by the township. He suggested Hockman visit the Licking County Recorder for the information. "We don't know it's ours," said Justice.

Hockman told the trustees he'd spoken to people at the state level who told him to contact the township. He also brought various documentation which he thought backed his claim. Unfortunately, upon further investigation, none of the documents proved the township owned the property. At that point, the trustees said they really couldn't help Hockman further until they had proof.

"It's a very complicated situation, to say the least," said Trustee President John Slater Wednesday. He said the trustees have looked into the situation since the meeting and as far as Slater knows, there was some discussion in the past about turning over some of Hockman's property over to the township, but there's no clear record of a transaction. He expects it will become a civil matter between Hockman and his neighbor. "We can't accept responsibility for something that's not ours," he said.

Justice said Wednesday that the same situation with Hockman's property has arisen in the past, and it's still not the township's responsibility. He agreed that it's a civil matter and said Hockman should contact an attorney.

In other township business, Justice said Palmer Road, Clarks Road, Canyon Road (from Seminary to Lees roads), and Dewmar Lane have all received a chip seal pavement coating. The paving cost about $74,600. An asphalt repaving for Swamp Road is going out to bid, he said. The section of Swamp Road between US 40 and I-70 will be repaired at an estimated price of $45,000.

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