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Two interested parties team up on Gilman Ave. house

Only one designated interested party submitted a project proposal for the stabilization of the Donald S. Rose blighted property at 115-117 Gilman Ave. by the court-designated deadline Monday. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

Monday marked the final deadline for parties with a purported interest in saving a Federal-style structure in Marietta’s lower west side.

In May, two Marietta-based parties (Promanco Inc. and its president John Lehman and Joe Grimm owner of Grimm Scientific) registered with the city safety-service director’s staff and were given permission to enter the condemned structures at 115-117 Gilman Ave. for additional interior inspection beyond the requirement of the abatement order placed upon the city in April declaring the properties a blight and public nuisance under Ohio law.

The parties appear to have combined forces, per the June 18 filing with Washington County Common Pleas Judge John Halliday and made available per public records request Monday.

City Law Director Paul Bertram noted the apparent alliance in the first filing document having been filed by Grimm’s representative from the April hearing before Halliday, John Dehmlow, this time representing Promanco.

“First glance at 50,000 feet it covers the big five,” reviewed Bertram in reference to the documentation submitted to the court.

Contained within the 14 pages was a brief summary of some construction projects completed under the Promanco name, a two-sentence timeline reference to completion of stabilization by November, and an estimation of the cost of labor, materials and other development costs at $162,060.

But state law requires more than a summary of what could be possible to stabilize the structure identified in court records as in “imminent danger of collapse.”

“We have been provided limited opportunities for thorough inspection of the property,” the lawyer wrote in the first page of the “Financial and Construction Plan.”

That same first page of the plan also appears to qualify a state law requirement as optional.

“If required by the court, Promanco is ready, willing and able to obtain a bond as security for the performance of the work and the furnishing of the materials,” states the plan.

No cost rates of types of labor (trades) or specialized labor force nor specified types of materials are listed in the half-page summary of materials.

According to the estimate, 522 labor hours at a total cost of $31,320 would combine with an estimated $20,700 cost of materials and a $110,040 in subcontract costs to complete the project.

According to Ohio Revised Code 3767.41, the three key actions requiring the judge to review if considering the appointment of a receiver are defined with three verbs: demonstrate, provide and post.

For review: “demonstrate the ability to promptly undertake the work and furnish the materials… provide… a viable financial and construction plan… and post (a) security (bond.)”

No financial records were included in the filing provided to the Times, only the statement “the entire project will be self-financed by Promanco, with no need for external funding.”

In April, the court also accepted expert testimony from Professional Engineer Eric Lambert and his 164-page structural assessment of the properties.

“They didn’t even acknowledge it,” said Fourth Ward Councilman Geoff Schenkel in review of the submitted documents by Dehmlow (of the law firm Fields, Dehmlow and Vessels).

The initial filing for receivership does note that concerns have been expressed by neighbors, seemingly in reference to the sworn affidavits also accepted into court record testifying to the continued risks of the growing decay and the attractive nuisance 115-117 Gilman Ave. pose to neighborhood children and families.

“A proposal this weak on details only wins in a corrupt, good ole boy network,” said Schenkel.

As of press time Monday, no date for an additional status conference, or public hearing was posted on the court docket.

Note: Review the history of these structures and city officials’ discussion concerning their abatement and the threat of blight to the city’s public peace, health and safety in the Jan. 6., Jan. 13, Feb. 26, March 2, March 23, March 26, March 30, April 20, April 29, , May 4 and May 20, 2021 editions of the Times, and in the 2020 issues published on Jan. 8, Jan. 14, Feb. 4, Feb. 7, July 25, July 30, Aug. 7, Aug. 14, Aug. 18, Sept. 5, Sept. 10, Sept. 15, Sept. 23, Oct. 2 and Nov. 11; and in the 2019 issues published on Feb. 15, May 2, Aug. 23, Sept. 5, Oct. 9, Oct 29, and Nov. 2; and in the May 2, Aug. 17 and Aug. 29 issues in 2018; the March 24, 2017 issue and the July 18, 2015 issue.

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