Dilapidated house is condemned
Occupants of a house at 413 S. 4th St. in Marion that earlier was deemed unfit asked Monday to be allowed to fix the place up, but council members voted to go ahead with condemning the property.
“You need to understand we’ve got a lot of complaints,” mayor David Mayfield said.
Ashley and Justin Loomis spoke to council members during a public hearing on the house.
Ashley Loomis said she and her brother had been trying to make payments in the hope that electric service could be restored.
Utilities at the property have been turned off since Jan. 6, 2021, Police Chief Clinton Jeffrey said.
The two Loomises have lengthy records of being jailed on suspicion of drug and theft offenses here and in Dickenson County.
Jeffrey said that the Loomises no longer were living there and that he had seen people working on the property on weekends.
Ashley Loomis said she was living in a recovery home and now is serving as a house mother there.
Jeffery showed council members photos of the house from when a notice was posted on a door in February and how it looks now.
The February notice listed lack of water for sanitary facilities; disrepair of the residence; unsafe electrical cords in the residence and an outbuilding; and lack of cleanliness of the residence, outbuildings and property.
“They are making progress,” Jeffrey said. “I’ll leave it up to you whether it’s substantial progress.”
Council member Zach Collett told Ashley Loomis that she and her brother could submit a rehabilitation plan to the city.
Zach Strella, surrogate for city attorney Brian Bina, said that if the Loomises give the council a plan and made progress, the city could extend the condemnation deadline, but if they didn’t make progress, the city could move forward with demolition.
Council member Ruth Herbel asked Jeffrey whether he had been inside the house.
“Not since this started,” he replied.
Appraisal records list the property as being owned by the Loomises’ late father, Michael T. Loomis, who died in June 2020. The council vote to condemn the property was unanimous.