EBENSBURG - Municipal governments are used to dealing with properties whose owners let grass grow wild, fences hang crooked and paint peel from their houses.
Most such code violations can take weeks or maybe months to resolve, but Cambria Township supervisors have a file several inches thick on a home in the borough's Lakemont area dating back more than two decades.
The owner of the 103 Susan Drive property lives in Indiana County and did not return a call for comment, but supervisors said he pays his taxes on time and someone keeps the grass trimmed.
But the house is deteriorating, neighbor Patty Wojcik told the board on Monday.
She said there are holes large enough that it has become a home to feral cats and rodents.
Wojcik also said she's seen teenagers smoking there and worries the house is attracting negative attention.
Supervisor Robert Shook told her there isn't much they can do.
"We can't knock it down," he said. "The court won't let us. It's structurally sound."
Chairman Supervisor David Hoover produced a green folder dating to the early 1990s, which contains years worth of background information and complaints about 103 Susan Drive.
Wojcik apparently wasn't the first to come to the township looking for relief.
However, Hoover said, the owner replaced the home's roof last year when asked and is friendly to township officials.
The next step, Hoover said, will be to ask township police to write a report about the home to send to the owner.
Supervisors can then ask him to board up the home's windows and secure boards placed around the home's first floor to cover the holes.
"We wanted to buy it, knock it down," Hoover said. "He won't sell it."
Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.