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Fire code violations adding up for owner

Courtney Astolfi • Oct 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Fines have been stacking up for the owner of the now-defunct Hoppers mobile home park on Venice Road.

As of Saturday, Joe Yost had accrued $7,000 in fines for fire code violations on his property, according to Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci.

In mid-July, Sandusky fire marshal Rudy Ruiz notified Yost of five serious code violations in the park that needed to be addressed by the second week of August.

It wasn’t until Sept. 9, however, that the city began fining him for the unsafe structural conditions, accumulation of waste materials, presence of abandoned and unsecured buildings and the buildup of combustible materials that plague the park.

Since then, Yost has been slapped with penalties of $50 per day, per violation.

“Mr. Yost has relayed to us he does not have the means to remedy Hoppers mobile home park as it sits today,” Ricci said. “We’re pursuing alternatives.”

The cleanup solution will likely come through an application of federal grant money, Ricci said.

“One of the pieces of the solution is to utilize the money we do have. We’re getting bids right now on what that cost will be,” Ricci said.

The fire chief plans to make a decision by Oct. 22 about which contractor the city will hire to remedy Yost’s violations.

“We have taken care of the immediate, necessary hazards,” Ricci said. “We eliminated the electric and gas out there, and debris has been localized to one area.”

Water access for the park was turned off on Aug. 1 — a reaction to five years of unpaid water bills totaling $260,000, according to the city.

Only two households have yet to leave the property.

“The last two occupants have found places to stay, and they’ll be moving within the next week,” Ricci said.

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