DANVILLE — Danville Village Council announced that the last day for leaf pick-up will be Friday, Dec. 20 and that the old underground gas tank in front of the Village Office building has been removed.

Council met Monday for their regular biweekly meeting. Interim Village Administrator Freedom Desich reported that the gas tank along with approximately 12 tons of dirt surrounding it had been removed from the ground.

The tank removal was to address the foul odor and contaminated air that had reportedly been causing headaches and eye irritation among village employees in the building.

According to Desich, the unearthed tank was empty but riddled with holes. Under the tank, workers found clay that was blackened by contamination.

Desich said workers dug eight feet deep and four feet wide on either side of the tank to clear out contaminated dirt. The removed soil was replaced with a clean filler.

The village discovered the gas tank through photographs submitted by descendants of the building’s previous owner. The property once belonged to the Blubaugh family who operated a Ford dealership from the village office’s current address in the 1940s. One of the pictures showed two gas pumps by the front sidewalk, leading to the discovery of the underground gas tank.

The gas tank removal report was not the only order of business related to property history at the council meeting.

Two prospective owners of a North Market Street property on the northern edge of Danville attended the meeting to seek solutions for several issues.

The property in question is locally known as the “daycare lot.” The approximately 6,000 square-feet lot was previously two separate lots, one belonging to the village and one in the township. The two lots were incorporated in 1988 to the village and the daycare was turned into a residence, according to the new owners.

Now the new owners would like to split the lot again and designate part of it as a potential storefront. They also sought approval from the council to rebuild the house in the case of a fire; this is a particular request from the Veterans Affairs who needs to approve the VA loan for the purchase.

The guidelines on how to proceed with either request were unclear due to the particularity of the case. Village Solicitor Noel Alden at one point suggested that the planning committee handle both requests and that the owners pursue a variance from the zoning board of appeals.

However, a variance would take 45 to 90 days to be issued and the new owners need something more timely to proceed with the VA loan.

Eventually, Councilmember Jill Byers put in motion at Alden’s suggestion to “authorize the mayor to sign a letter stating that the Village of Danville has no objection to the lot split and to the rebuilding of the house on the same footprint.” Council then unanimously passed the motion so the new owners could move forward with their purchase.

Council also authorized the police department to purchase a new standard Ford SUV Police Interceptor on a $62,000 loan with a $10,555.41 interest over 7 years through First-Knox National Bank. The annual Christmas party for village employees will be held Dec. 16.

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Eli Chung: 740-397-5333 or eli@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @