City condemns Walnut St. lot
The city council condemned one house Monday and granted another property owner a month to line up a sale.
Council members voted 4-0 to direct Annette Kline to demolish her abandoned house next to the city yard at 530 Walnut St. within 60 days. Otherwise, the city would do it and place a lien on the property’s tax bill. No one attended the public hearing on Kline’s property, and council member Jerry Kline, the uncle of the property owner, abstained from voting.
The city still wants to buy the Walnut St. property after unsuccessfully trying to buy it in the past, City Administrator Roger Holter said. The owner, who recently paid the back-taxes on the property, has been unresponsive to correspondence from the city, Holter said.
The property, valued in 2014 at $7,200, has been abandoned without working utilities for eight years, with skunks and cats now living inside the residence, Streets Superintendent Marty Fredrickson said.
“Last fall we had people inside there, unauthorized,” said Holter, adding that the city last condemned a property three years ago.
The council also decided to allow the owner of 432 Arbor St., Richard Harrington, 28 days to line up a buyer for his property.
Harrington told the council that one of the three structures on his five-lot property already has been demolished. Harrington has been working to sell four of the lots and the two-story house to his neighbor, who wants to tear the structure down.
Harrington said he uses the smaller house for storage. He offered to install a front door that closes, remove a back room, and paint the house.
“It’s a solid house, except for that back room,” Harrington said.
Holter said the city has no interest in purchasing Harrington’s property. The council will revisit the issue of Harrington’s property at its March 2 meeting.
Last modified Feb. 5, 2015