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Enough of this mess

Posted Friday, April 30, 2010, at 11:59 AM

(Photo)
This overgrown mess surrounds one of a row of four residences on Eagle Boulevard near Shelbyville Central High School.
Visitors to Shelbyville Central High School, when arriving from the west end of Eagle Boulevard, are greeted by a row of four structures -- actually, what's left of those structures -- surrounded by roof-high weeds. One of the abandoned homes has an "Unfit for human habitation or use" sign next to the front door and under where a window once was. Most animals actually deserve something better than this.

It's too bad a few people could care less what their property looks like. Many of the rest of us find such a mess disgusting, especially when it's in a heavily-traveled location.

Hopefully these will be among those buildings demolished under the city of Shelbyville's plan to attack blighted structures.

Maybe we should just tell visitors that it's a nature preserve for the nearby students to study...on second thought, forget it. No one would ever believe that.


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Hasn't anyone on here ever heard of the Ohio Blue-Tip Urban Renewal and Cleanup Plan? Works wonders, and it's not too terribly expensive to the tax payers, either. Just the cost of the Fire Department's response... IF anyone bothers to call them, that is.

-- Posted by BobBobBob on Wed, May 5, 2010, at 1:28 AM

The concept of "ownership" is still pretty fuzzy; it was easier to handle under common law, under which title could just revert to the Crown, and the monarch could grant it to somebody else. Estates are hard enough to settle when the heirs like each other, and want to clear up the details. We still end up having to do silly (but legally necessary) things -- such as siblings' being sued by their mom to clear her late husband's partial title to the home they owned jointly. A lot of property titles, therefore, are just not cleared. Some are even entailed; lotsa luck ever getting one of those cleared.

It is also easier to get heirs to admit their ownership of an asset (such as a house that's still worth something on the market) than of a liability (such as a condemned eyesore, unfit for occupancy -- or a big unpaid tax bill).

An attorney could make more sense of this situation -- the house in the above picture -- but probably has more sense than to post an opinion on a blog. And, anyway, whom could he or she bill for the time?

-- Posted by razyn on Mon, May 3, 2010, at 9:21 AM

I was told many years ago the man that owns the liquour store on North Main Street, close to Epco Credit Union owned 1 or two of those builidings. But it was tied up in a legal issue or something. That was along time ago, don't know for sure if it was true or not either.

So not sure if he is still the owner or not. A few other houses like on Morton street and Depot street I believe the owners had died, and left it to family that live out of town who either don't want the house or can't afford to keep, or do the upkeep of them.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sun, May 2, 2010, at 11:43 PM

memeyselfi,

Gee,thanks for outing(sp?)me! ;)

-- Posted by gottago on Sun, May 2, 2010, at 11:35 AM

I do not know for sure who currently owns the property in question, but I imagine it is owned by people whose bodies are not in much better condition than the structures. As we age, we sometimes tend to confuse what once was, with what is. As decades pass away, those nagging tasks become more and more difficult to complete, eventually creating even more problems. These structures may be an eyesore to many, but to others, they may represent the shadows of a previous intentionality left finally to decay in the same fashion as the bodies that once held those intentions.

These structures will be torn down soon enough, most likely along with some other commonly owned buildings. Some have already. Progress and development will see to that. I would not be in any hurry to attempt to push the owners into anything though. I imagine those buildings are there only because the owners wish for them to remain unchanged for the time being. In some situations, even wishes that cause eyesores are accommodated. I would tread carefully around this one.

gottago, I always thought you were Crazy Ray?

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, May 2, 2010, at 9:25 AM

I do recall that there was indeed a real hermit/loner/homeless person that did hang out in that area. While I remember no particulars of this story I can see the man himself as clearly as I can see this screen. It seems that he had the misfortune of being dubbed 'crazy ray' even though he appeared somewhat kindly and harmless.

This topic came up once before and others provided details of a more sinister and criminal character. I don't remember such myself and it's conceivable that what I remember and the story others tell occurred at different time periods. The man I remember was around in maybe,'80,'81,'82ish while I think some of the other stories circulated earlier.

-- Posted by gottago on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 10:45 PM

Crazy Ray was a hermit/loner rumored to live in the woods around the Park Complex and Eakin elementary circa late 70's early 80's. I'm not sure how it got started or whether it was based on a real person but it was a legend that many schoolchildren at the time bought into. I too warn my children of Crazy Ray whenever we're in a wooded area but kids these days aren't as gullible, too many real creeps around I guess. If anybody knows more about the origin of the Crazy Ray legend, I'd like to hear it. Anything out of place found in those woods was attributed to Crazy Ray. This house definitely looks like something Crazy Ray would inhabit.

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 9:38 PM

Glad you asked that, I am wondering too?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 12:43 PM

Who's Crazy Ray?

-- Posted by welkindance on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 7:54 AM

As we all know, Shelbyville and Bedford County have been hit hard in this economic crisis. Shelbyville needs to put its best foot forward to encourage growth and industry. There are houses on Lewis Avenue and Depot Street (among other areas) that are occupied and are absolutely an eyesore as one drives into the city. These people need to be forced to clean up their property or be fined heavily (or removed if renting the property). Sleep on zzzzzzzzzz,do nothing, city fathers.

-- Posted by cowener on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 7:41 AM

Is this not a matter of public record as to ownership of property. A little investigative reporting with a story on the front page of the Times Gazette would probably have those lots cleaned up in a matter of a few days.

-- Posted by reilly on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 7:12 AM

Is this not a matter of public record as to ownership of property. A little investigative reporting with a story on the front page of the Times Gazette would probably have those lots cleaned up in a matter of a few days.

-- Posted by reilly on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 7:11 AM

Crazy Ray might have moved there since they cleared out a lot of the trees at the park.

My brother & I tell my kids of him just to freak them out. Too funny.

I am curious to know who pays the property tax for the lots. Someone still has to own them.

-- Posted by UVilleGators on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 12:48 AM

cortnerkin,

'Crazy Ray'...hadn't heard that in a while.

-- Posted by gottago on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 9:59 PM

If this was north Georgia, someone would living in that house. Maybe Crazy Ray lives there?

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 8:34 PM

i have often wondered about those houses.. there are several on Morton street too.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 6:25 PM

yuck thats tacky looking

-- Posted by freakyfriday on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 3:58 PM

Does someone still pay property taxes on them? If they do, they should be fairly easy to locate, if not they could be sold for the delinquent taxes.

-- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 3:09 PM

They look like the set for one of those gory slasher films on the SciFi channel!

-- Posted by welkindance on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 2:58 PM

It's more than an eyesore -- it's a public health hazard. Kids could explore these places and get hurt. Criminals love spots like these to set up drug deals or meth labs. Wild animals can live there, bringing in the possibility of bites or rabies.

-- Posted by MotherMayhem on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 2:10 PM

I agree, these buildings were there when I was going to high school and I always wonder why someone didn't tear them down or do something with the properties. It is definitely an eyesore.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 1:57 PM

nature preserve or the study?

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 1:16 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.