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Council approves demolition of three houses

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:16 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:18 p.m. CST

And the walls will come tumbling down.

During a May 6 Osceola City Council meeting, the council approved the resolution ordering the demolition of houses — 306 W. McLane St., 117 S. Adams St., and RR (rural route) 2 at Logan and North East streets.

The structures aren’t in compliance with the city’s dangerous building ordinance.

“The resolution tonight acknowledges the attempts to correspond with the property owners — the parties in possession,” said Ty Wheeler, city administrator/clerk. “It states that the order that was given to demo the property wasn’t carried out. We did send them a notice, and this is a courtesy notice, it’s not required by ordinance or by Iowa Code, stating that the time had expired and we were prepared to remedy the nuisance with whatever tools are available to the city, including demolition.”

Proceeding with demolition means the properties would be tested for asbestos and then be bid on with local contractors for demolition.

Ownership?

Councilman Chris Dorsey said in a situation like this, where the city council takes the lead, he wanted to make sure the city doesn’t own the property.

“We’re not taking any ownership of it,” Wheeler said.

“It’s a matter of public safety,” added Dave Leonard, the city’s zoning administrator/building inspector, community development. “We’re simply just abating the nuisance according to the Iowa Code and city ordinance.”

Later in the meeting, Dorsey said he wasn’t doubting the work of Leonard or Wheeler through his various questions, he just wanted to make sure the process and legal steps were being carried out correctly.

“We’ve been through these before, and we’ve had some successes where we work with folks,” Leonard said. “I think we can all point to 206 S. Jackson (St.) where those folks came in, did the work, realized the magnitude of the project, followed the order and got things done and were successful for it.”

Public safety

Leonard added, the city has also seen nuisance houses where work wasn’t being done on them by the property owners.

“We just don’t want to continue to see the problems get passed on,” Leonard said. “… Unfortunately, we would rather not be here requesting this of you, but, I think it’s a matter of public safety and having an open structure that’s probably structurally not sound is not a good thing to have in your community.”

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