- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ORIENT, Ohio (AP) - Apparently, making a village disappear is more difficult than some central Ohio residents thought.

Although it’s been nearly a year and a half since the residents of Orient voted to dissolve the village, little has been done toward that end.

Residents of the village southwest of Columbus voted to allow the land, along with its 88 homes and 200 residents, to be absorbed by surrounding Scioto (sy-OH’-tuh) Township.

But a required state audit still hasn’t been done, and properties are being neglected, according to The Columbus Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1rbC3nr ).

Lawns have given way to fields of high weeds and trash ignored by negligent owners has piled up. But with the village status unresolved, there’s no one around to enforce any maintenance or zoning codes.

And there also is uncertainty over whether the streetlights can stay on much longer. That’s something the residents have long argued is their most important public-safety issue.

The state auditor’s office says the process of dissolving the village couldn’t start until certain things were done at the local level, and some of those didn’t happen until recently. That included the transfer of village property.

Scioto Township and the county also had to settle on who will be responsible for the village’s mile of roadways and its alleys. It was decided that each will take a portion.

Several residents have come to township meetings asking for help on various issues. But until the village books are officially closed, the trustees have been advised by their attorney to take no action on anything.

“It takes time to undo a village that took 50 years to build,” said Jo Murphy-Miller, Orient’s fiscal officer.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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