Delinquent properties, lake up for sale in Mahoning County

The 20 properties originally went up for auction by the Sheriff's Office, but no one bought them

Woodside Lake in Austintown Township is up for sale, and neighbors are worried about what that could mean.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Auditor’s Office is getting ready for its first auction in several years.

Twenty delinquent properties are for sale and could go for as low as two-thirds of the appraised value. If no one bids, the auction starts at $50.

Because taxes weren’t paid on the properties, Auditor Ralph Meacham can auction them off and get some of that money back into the county’s bank account. He said this is one way that someone can get a good deal on a property.

“Someone could potentially buy a property for $50 or $100,” he said.

These are properties that originally went up for auction by the Sheriff’s Office, but no one bought them. They range from houses to commercial buildings, and there’s even a lake up for sale.

Woodside Lake is one of the properties that is going to be up on the auction block. It stretches across eight acres in Austintown Township.

But there’s more at stake here than just a piece of land.

Ed Zellonish and his family are among several property owners surrounding the lake. He has lived in the area for more than 30 years. His kids use the lake to play hockey and fish.

“It has been fantastic,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time outdoors. It’s a beautiful view.”

He says he’s worried about the upcoming sale and what it could mean for people living in the area.

If no one purchases it, the lake could be reverted back to state ownership and drained.

Someone had tried to buy the lake a few years ago, but backed out due to several issues with the dam.

“The bidder found out that there is a dam that needs major repair, and so that sale was canceled and now it will be offered again,” Meacham said.

The new owner of Woodside Lake would be required by law to make several repairs and conduct routine maintenance and monitoring of the dam, according to a letter sent to the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The letter states that during inspection, “significant seepage” through a sidewall and embankment were noted due to the dam and spillway’s poor condition.

Neighbors say draining the lake is the last thing that they want to see happen.

“I truly believe it will bring the neighborhood down. It’s such a beautiful lake, and I just can’t imagine them draining it for whatever reason,” Zellonish said.

The auction is scheduled for November 30 in the Mahoning County Commissioner’s hearing room. All sales are cash-only.

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