Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

Reply to this topicStart new topic
> 4 more houses to be demolished
post Dec 8 2009, 10:26 AM
Post #1

Spends WAY too much time at CBTL

Group: Admin
Posts: 15,982
Joined: 8-December 06
From: Michigan City, IN
Member No.: 2


City moves forward with razing houses

Laurie Wink
The News-Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY - Four of five requests to demolish dilapidated houses within the city were approved Monday by the Board of Public Works & Safety.

A house at 301 Lafayette St. was set for the chopping block, but got a temporary reprieve because of incomplete paperwork, according to Russell Hatfield, city code enforcement officer.

Neil Kienitz, who lives across the street from the property, which is owned by David Heckman, strongly supported the demolition, even though it's among the historic houses in the Elston Grove Historic District.

"For the last 10 years, we've been working to improve what was a beautiful historic neighborhood in Elston Grove," Kienitz said. "This (house) is a disgrace to the neighborhood. It devalues all property in the neighborhood and dramatically affects the quality of life."

Kienitz said the city has been mowing grass and weeds on the property, which he said have occasionally reached heights of 3 feet. A family of cats lives at the house, he said, along with numerous rats and raccoons. He said a neighbor once found an intoxicated vagrant covered with feces sleeping on the house's front porch.

Kienitz also spoke in favor of demolishing another Elston Grove property. The house at 509 E. Ninth St., owned by Lonnett Phillips and Evelyn Hayes, is a "blighted structure," Kienitz told the Board of Works. He said 39 people have signed a petition asking the city to tear down the house.

Hatfield said a fire on Feb. 12, 2007, destroyed the second story of the house, and the insurance company denied the owners' claim. The city's Historic Review Board OK'd the demolition in September after waiting several years for someone to repair it, Hatfield said.

"It's been in burned-out condition since the fire," he said. "The problem is between the owners, who haven't resolved their issues."

The board voted to proceed with bids for demolition at 509 E. Ninth St., declaring the property an unsafe nuisance.

Hatfield will pursue demolition of properties at 824 Grand Ave., 1111 E. Eighth St. and 5406 Harvey Court. The board approved a $3,900 contract with Phelps Construction, Westville, to demolish the Harvey Court house, which board members declared a public nuisance at the Oct. 18 meeting. At that time, Hatfield said owner Regina Sturgeon did not respond to complaints a leaking roof has destroyed most of the house's interior, and that a garage on the property has collapsed,

The Board of Works declared the property at 824 Grand Ave. a public nuisance. Hatfield said the property, owned by Elizabeth Floyd Stantz, has a collapsed roof and considerable inside damage.

"You can see water inside a fan light," Hatfield said.

An order to demolish property at 1111 E. Eighth St., listed as being owned by Mary London, was approved Monday after the board declared it an unsanitary nuisance. Action had been postponed since Oct. 19 because of title work issues. Hatfield said the property owner's two sons can't agree on what to do with the property, which now has "significant roof damage."

One family member uses the house for storage and keeps a dog there, he said, adding, "Family members have refused to let me inside but, from the odor of the dog living there, I'd say the inside is unsanitary."

In other action, the board:

• Approved an agreement with Lohan Anderson for design and construction administration of the Gateway Park project. The City Council approved spending $125,500 for the project at its Dec. 1 meeting.

• Authorized City Engineer Boyd Phelps to extend an agreement with Rieth-Riley to do paving for the city in 2010 at 2009 prices.

• Approved a request from John Kintzele, Michigan City Police Department assistant chief, to pursue a data transfer canopy structure project with $100,000 approved by the City Council on Dec. 1.

Contact Laurie Wink at lwink@thenewsdispatch.com.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:


Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 18th April 2019 - 09:13 PM

Skin Designed By: neo at www.neonetweb.com