Owner: Thomas W. and Yvonne Cahill
Value: $16,800, according to the Hamilton County Auditor's Office
Year Built: 1880
Comments: Thomas W. Cahill, owner of Thomas Cahill Plumbing and Supply, purchased this property from George Weke of L&W Plumbing
Until recently Cahill had been the caretaker of an elderly mentally ill woman. Affectionately known as the "cat lady" by neighborhood residents, she was living in the home when the Cahills bought the property. City of Cincinnati Building Inspector Bobbye Wood describes the elderly woman as a lovable community fixture, with no family. Wood said she was impressed with Cahill's care for the woman.
Several months ago the plumbing stopped working and the home was deemed unsanitary, so the "cat lady" had to move.
"I felt bad about having to kick her out," Wood says.
Santa Maria Neighborhood Services helped relocate the tenant to an assisted-living apartment.
Mike Henson of the Lower Price Hill Environmental Leadership Group has been trying to get the property cleaned for more than a year. On July 29, 2002, Gary Johnson Jr., an inspector with the Cincinnati Health Department, investigated. After observing sinks, porcelain toilets, PVC tubing and other debris on the property, he issued a notice of civil offense charging the Cahills with depositing garbage on public property. Johnson returned several more times to find nothing had changed.
Cahill said the property was already covered with plumbing items when he purchased it, according to Johnson's report. Records at the building inspector's office report that, as of June 5, the site looks much better and is now vacant and secure.
"Everything should be cleaned up by now," says Yvonne Cahill.
The Cahills are trying to sell the property. "We thought we had a buyer last week," she said.
BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings -- and who's responsible for them.