Woman turns herself in on public nuisance charge
SHAMOKIN - A Snyder County woman whose half-double on Pearl Street is falling apart turned herself in on an outstanding warrant for a public nuisance charge.
Katy Ann Dunaway, 31, of 1688 Fairview Road, McClure, will appear today before Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III for a preliminary hearing on the misdemeanor count. The charge was filed in April following five unanswered summary citations for the condition of her Fifth Ward property.
Cpl. Bryan Primerano, who filed the charge, filed citations Monday against five other property owners. More citations could follow. If they go unanswered, a misdemeanor charge would be filed against each.
Primerano and code officer Rick Bozza hope this approach, bringing about a criminal charge
after citations go unanswered, will spur owners of blighted properties to take action: repair or demolish.
Bozza has said there are 51 Shamokin properties with outstanding violations of at least one city or state code. Primerano agreed there are many more that they haven't yet been able to address.
"We're trying to work our way down from the worst," Primerano said Monday. "You can't have that, when you're walking by and houses are collapsing."
Primerano said he reached out to state police at Selinsgrove, who made contact with Dunaway and informed her of the outstanding warrant. It's not as easy with out-of-state property owners.
All but one of the five owners cited Monday are out of state: Miguel Gonzalez, of 441 18th St., Brooklyn, N.Y., for 415 S. Market St.; My Natural LLC, of 279 Prospect Park West, 1A, Brooklyn, N.Y., for 631 Bear Valley Ave.; Anthony M. Venturino, of 150 Bear Path Road, Hamden, Conn., for 663 Bear Valley Ave., and Sharon Lynn Ragan, of 266 Borger Road, Kunkletown, for 665 Bear Valley Ave.
According to the county assessor's office, Venturino also owns 661 Bear Valley Ave.
Bradley Lee Desenberg, 53, whose address is listed as 501 S. Grant St., Shamokin, was cited for conditions at that property.
Bozza and Primerano have worked in tandem since last fall. Bozza first sends a letter to property owners outlining the code violation and asking that it be addressed within 30 days. Should no action be taken, he issues summary citations. If they're ignored, he turns the case over to Primerano. The police officer issues citations himself, and when nothing is addressed he pursues a misdemeanor charge.
Primerano calls himself an optimist, but even he says dealing with blight in the city can be an overwhelming task. Case in point: the owners of four other properties on Dunaway's block alone have been issued warning letters, marking the potential start of a legal process for each.