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The Hillsdale City Council voted to extend the deadline to July 1, 2020 for either serious repairs or demo­lition of the 65 and 65 1/2 Westwood St. property. Julia Mullins | Col­legian

The city council voted unan­i­mously in its Nov. 4 meeting to extend the deadline from Nov. 16, 2019 to July 1, 2020, for either serious repairs or demo­lition of the 65 and 65 1/2 Westwood St. property. 

The dilap­i­dated house has been a major topic of dis­cussion at council meetings this year as it vio­lates the property main­te­nance code. 

The council voted in its meeting on Sep. 16 to give the property owner, Marvin Salyer, 60 days to make the fixes. 

If Salyer misses the deadline, the pro­posal autho­rized city per­sonnel to take “such action as nec­essary to demolish the property.”

The only progress on the property as of the Nov. 4 meeting was that some of the broken windows had been fixed. 

“It’s just hard to get people there,” Salyer said. “I finally got a guy to commit to it, and he said he’d work on it in the course of the winter.”

Coun­cilman Bruce Sharp has been the leading voice to get the property either fixed or demol­ished since his home is on the same street. 

Sharp said he has visited the property and rec­og­nizes steps are being made, but there are still broken windows and poten­tially animals inside.

“You’ve got a cat that stuck it’s head out the window this afternoon,” Sharp said. “You’ve got wild animals running around in there.”

Salyer said he was unaware of the feline and that it was not there when he visited two days prior to the meeting. 

Salyer owns 10 prop­erties within the county. According to city records pro­vided to the council, police have been called to his rental prop­erties a total of 89 times since 2015. 

The property in question, 65 and 65 1/2 Westwood, has had 22 visits by police in the last four years and has been vacant since 2017. 

Sharp read the list of prop­erties and Salyer informed the council that many of the listings are his mother’s prop­erties. 

Mayor Adam Stockford advised that the council should not con­sider such prop­erties, but Sharp felt they were important to look at.

“If you’re a respon­sible landlord, you would want to know what’s going on with your tenants,” Sharp said. 

Salyer informed the council he has spent $12,000 in down pay­ments on the roof, which must be repaired before other parts, and that he’s serious about fixing it up. 

Coun­cilman Greg Stuchell reminded the council that tax­payer money would front the cost of the demo­lition. The city would even­tually be reim­bursed by having the costs added to Salyer’s taxes.  

“I don’t see progress,” Stuchell said. “I hear the same song and dance every time he’s come up here.”

Both Stuchell and Sharp agreed that they don’t want to see the house torn down, but would rather see it repaired. 

Stockford said he doesn’t believe the council gave Salyer enough time with the initial deadline. Instead of 60 days, he said six months would have been more rea­sonable.

“I don’t like taking someone’s property and doing some­thing with it,” Stockford said. “I didn’t run for office to do that.”

Stockford also came to the defense of the indi­viduals living in Salyer’s rental prop­erties, adding the tenants are “working people.” 

The members exchanged ideas about what date to make the new deadline and settled on July 1, 2020. William Mor­risey pro­posed the motion to extend the deadline and it passed unan­i­mously. 

At one point, Salyer accused Sharp of name-calling on Facebook. 

“I didn’t really appre­ciate you calling me a con-artist on social media,” Salyer said. Sharp replied with con­fusion and shook his head, sug­gesting it wasn’t him. 

Yet a screenshot showed that Sharp did make the comment on the Facebook page of the Hillsdale Daily News. 

Res­ident Jack McLain also came to Salyer’s defense in public comment. He said he wanted to see how many times police were called to the Beacon Hill apartment complex, a building fre­quented by the police.

“You can’t compare how many times the police come to one place,” McLain said. “You can’t judge the landlord by that. In that case, Beacon Hill would be out of the city.”

Several res­i­dents expressed that Salyer is a hard worker and will fix the house. 

“As long as I’ve known Marv, he’s always worked two jobs plus had a business on the side; he’s a worker,” McLain said. “He’s going to do that house.”