A family issue, turned city of Logansport issue, took center stage at the Board of Works meeting Wednesday.
Citing property owner of 417 Brown St., Gloria Metz, with a clean-up demand, Code Enforcement Officer Johnny Quinones said the residents have one week to transform the area to a clean site.
Gloria owns the residence, but it is her son, Thomas Metz, who has left trash and debris strewn about the property, she said. It is Thomas’ lack of initiative to make the area more habitable that is the main problem, she added.
“My brother is not going to clean it up,” said Michael Metz, who appeared before the board with his mother. Driving from his home in Michigan, Michael wanted to provide support for his mother. Even though Thomas will not permit his mother or brother to clean up the property, Michael said that “eviction is not an option.”
Michael said his brother is unable to find work due to his issues with the legal system, and the family does not feel comfortable throwing Thomas onto the street with nowhere to go.
Thomas Metz currently faces a Level 5 felony charge of battery with a prior battery conviction with the same victim. His jury trial is slated for Jan. 25, 2021, in Cass Circuit Court.
Because of his criminal history, Board Member Lisa Terry expressed concern for Gloria’s safety if the city were to clean up the property. She wondered if the removal of Thomas’ personal possessions would trigger backlash toward Gloria.
According to Michael, safety would not be a concern. He does, however, find it unfair for his mother to be stuck with the clean-up bill when it’s not her fault.
City Attorney Kelly Leeman advised the family they could work out a payment plan between them, but the city would only send out one bill and that bill would go to the property owner.
In order to avoid any unnecessary stress on the Metz family, Quinones said he would be willing to give them an additional week to remove the trash and debris from the site. If not completed by the next Board of Works meeting on Aug. 26, the city of Logansport will issue an emergency clean-up order, said Mayor Chris Martin.
Logansport Police Department Chief Travis Yike said officers would accompany crews to the residence in order to guarantee safety.
Also during the meeting, the Logansport Fire Department reported two fires occurred during the last month. One was a house fire at 203 N. Cicott St., which was caused by an electrical issue. The other was a garage fire at 19 High St. The garage sustained significant damage and a vehicle was destroyed, said Fire Chief Rick Bair, adding that the garage fire remains under investigation.
The Logansport Police Department reported 393 traffic stops, 104 arrests, 12 cases investigated, and an additional 40 drug-related cases investigated in the month of July.