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House back in city's crosshairs

Staff writer

A house the city considers to be in poor condition might again be in the crosshairs for demolition after a year of ownership by a man who bought it shortly before demolition was to begin and hopes to renovate it.

Bryan Grosse, who bought the property at 432 Arbor from Bradford Harrington days before demolition was to begin, was granted 160 days to make needed repairs. After getting a letter dated May 10, Grosse came to Monday’s city council meeting to talk to council members during public forum.

When Grosse bought the house from Harrington, the council commended him on his efforts with previous restoration projects in Marion, but the recent letter said the city didn’t see enough progress.

The letter notes that a roof was installed, porch repairs completed, debris removed from the yard and expansion of a side yard done. However, the city is once again considering demolition if Grosse doesn’t get rehabilitation completed.

Grosse said the house was in sound condition and he and his wife were considering moving into it when restoration is finished. Most of the work done to date has been on the inside, he said.

Council member Chris Costello asked how recently building inspector Marty Fredrickson had been inside the house.

“Marty hasn’t been inside since about a year ago,” Grosse said.

City administrator Roger Holter said: “We haven’t seen any improvement on this structure in three months.”

Holter said the city wanted to see a plan identifying specific projects and a timeline for completion.

“We still have a property that is on the main thoroughfare through our town,” Holter said.

Council member John Wheeler recommended Grosse work on the outside of the residence.

A month ago, Grosse considered buying another dilapidated house, at 118 W. Santa Fe St. That property remains registered to Amy Park. Council members last month voted to demolish the house on Santa Fe St. in 60 days unless someone came forth with a bond to prove they could complete the work.

Other items on Monday’s council agenda were mostly housekeeping issues.

The question of which city departments new members Costello and Wheeler would work with needed to be decided. Wheeler, appointed to fill the vacancy of former council member Chad Adkins, chose to work with economic development as Adkins had done. Costello agreed to work with public safety.

After discussing potential meeting dates, the council agreed to conduct budget meetings at 5:30 p.m. Monday and June 27. The second meeting will include department heads. A July work session will be scheduled later.

Last modified June 9, 2016

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