• Last modified 139 days ago (Jan. 4, 2024)


Demolition deadline ends up as dead time

Staff writer

Despite a threat that the city would order his mother’s house bulldozed if he didn’t show up at last week’s city council meeting to report on his progress, Donald Wilson did not get the satisfaction of learning the fate of the house because city inspector James Masters did not attend the meeting.

The house, brought to the city’s attention in September by Masters, is owned by Wilson’s mother, Deliliah Belshe. Belshe lives on Forest St.

The main problems reported by Masters were that a set of stairs that led to a second-story door were in dangerous condition and that an old cistern was on the property.

City council members passed a resolution Oct. 16 to seek demolition bids.

In November, Wilson was given until last week’s meeting, when the bids were due, to give a final update on his progress.

Bids were opened Dec. 27 but not shared with council members because Masters wasn’t there.

Despite the earlier threat, Wilson told council members during a public comment session that he’d removed the stairs and the cistern. Without Masters’ final inspection report, council members took no action.

Instead, Wilson was told to return this coming Monday.

Steven Wilson, Donald’s son who lives in the house, said Tuesday that he and his father were still working on removing debris from the stairs and cistern.

After the steps were removed, the men put up 2-by-4s to brace the side of the house and covered it with plywood.

What’s really stressful is that the city has also been after the family to clean up the remains of Belshe’s shed that burned down about a year ago.

Steven’s father works in Wichita and has lost pay because he had to leave his job early to appear at city council meetings, Steven said. He lost pay because he was ordered to show up last week, and now will lose pay Monday to find out what he anticipated finding out last week — whether the house would be demolished.

City administrator Brogan Jones said the major issues were the stairs and the cistern.

Masters should have a final report next week.

“I would guess he’ll have pictures from Wednesday and the morning of Jan. 8,” Jones said.

Last modified Jan. 4, 2024