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More concerns raised about Capital students
The situation has improved since a year ago when 20 angry neighbors presented city council with boxes full of empty beer bottles that Capital University students had tossed into their yards.
“Honestly, we have seen a lot less problems this year than last,” Police Chief Larry Rinehart said.
James and Mary White of Sheridan Avenue failed to see any progress.
“I am ashamed to tell people I live in Bexley - the Bexley ghetto,” James said.
Mary said incidents of vandalism and public intoxication have increased within the last month.
“It is not unusual to walk down the street and see human feces,” Mary said. “I watched girls urinate off the curb to see who could pee the farthest. Last Saturday, someone puked inside a neighbor’s car, which had its window rolled half way down.”
The Whites have lived on Sheridan for 25 years, but only in recent years have had problems with the students.
“They are a whole new breed of kids with no respect for private property,” Mary White said. “Sheridan Avenue is being neglected. We deserve some respect. My mother is afraid to come to my house. She says, ‘how can you live like this? You weren’t brought up this way.’
“It is not unusual for 100 students to be on the street. I have called the university and I have called the police. I think they are tired of hearing from us,” she said.
Rinehart said the police probably patrols Sheridan more than any other street in the city.
“This is a hot topic for us,” Rinehart said. “You may not have seen (the officers), but I am confident we came.”
As for the university police, “We have found Cap very, very responsive. They always get back to us,” Rinehart added.
City Attorney Lou Chodosh said there never is an incident reported where the police don’t investigate.
“I know of a lot of weekends in which Bexley money was spent on overtime for the police,” Chodosh said.
In the past 15 months since the city signed a “good neighbor” agreement with the university, crime has dropped, Chodosh said.
“Those students who do appear in Mayor’s court have already been disciplined by the university,” Chodosh said.
Students who commit a second offense are expelled.
“College kids will be college kids,” he said. “If you have a problem call the police. They are not mind readers.”
Rinehart said the police will step up its patrol of the Capital University area on Friday and Saturday nights.
But absentee landlords who allow eight or more students to rent a house also are to blame for the downturn of the neighborhood, the Whites said.
Not only are the houses and landscaping not maintained, but the extra renters place a strain on the water lines, they said.
The Whites also blame the overpopulated apartments for the sewage that seeps into their basement.
Bexley Service Director Bill Harvey told the Whites the city plans to overhaul Sheridan this summer by replacing the street, curbs, sidewalks and some water lines.
Troy Bonte, director of facilities management for Capital, said the landlords do not have permission to rent to more students than a house has bedrooms.
However, Bonte conceded that the university has no way of knowing if extra students reside in a house whose names are not on the lease.
Councilman Ben Kessler expressed concern over the poor upkeep of the campus-owned apartments.
“You drive down Sheridan Avenue and many of the Cap properties have inordinate amounts of dandelions compared to those next to it,” Kessler said. “Capital University as a landlord is sub-par to the other rental properties adjacent to it.”
Bonte said the university has changed management companies.
“I think you will see (improvements) over time,” Bonte said.
But Councilman Rick Weber said the there must be some kind of arrangement whereby Capital can take care of the property.
“Hopefully we get there before that quadrant worsens,” Weber said. “Bexley will suffer, but the university will suffer more.”
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