We fully support the sentiment Sherrie Curtis, an East Liverpool City Council member, recently expressed concerning one of the city's major dilemmas.
"There are too many buildings that have been allowed to go to seed and they need to come down," she expressed.
Her remarks came after she watched as the former Sherwin-Williams building on Fifth Street in the downtown fall prey to a demolition crew.
It's an all-to-familiar scenario: building owner fails to comply with a repair order by the city, building eventually goes to sheriff's sale, no buyers come forward, and the city assumes ownership.
Although it's sad to see a historic building crumble to the ground, it's also satisfying when a dilapidated structure is eliminated.
In this case, the city transferred ownership to Court Partners Inc. who then had it demoed because it was creating damage to the building next door which houses the law firm of Aronson, Fineman & Davis.
The new owners took care of the problem. That's progress.
Which brings us to a lack of progress - the Riverview Florist property, the 83 city-owned acres situated along Park Way.
If there is a list of properties in the city that have gone to "seed," this structure tops the list.
City leaders purchased the property for $1.28 million with the intentions to make it available for development. That was in 2008.
We understand it takes cash to eliminate such structures, and the city only recently paid off a loan to buy the property.
We acknowledge that it's an easier-said-than-done scenario.
And we get the fact that there are hoops and red tape to which the city must adhere.
But at some point, action needs to replace promises.
The site is an eyesore.
Office windows are boarded up, glass panes from the several green houses are missing or broken, there's garbage strewn around the property, and we've been told before of the environmental issues, namely asbestos.
We're simply not happy with the lack of action.
It'd be great if a developer walked into City Hall and opened a suitcase full of cash, but it doesn't appear to be happening. It's been in the city's care for close to five years now, and the property appears to be getting worse.
People are noticing.
In November, a nearby resident complained to city council, calling the property a "disgrace," adding that council members "wouldn't want it in your area."
No one would. It's an accident waiting to happen. Let's hope not.
Mayor Jim Swoger said then the city "did it for financial reasons and for the betterment of East Liverpool," adding "I think it will be an asset eventually."
That's too long.
City residents need to demand action - now.
City leaders need to show progress - now.