City may pay to raze building
Structure in disrepair since 2015
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville might be on the hook for the cost of razing a building after the property owner has taken no action to remove the building.
Clintonville Public Works Director Kray Brown told the Clintonville Streets Committee at its Aug. 9 meeting that the building at 5 Ginger Court is a burned out structure that has been on the property for approximately 3 1/2 years.
“In my opinion, it should have been taken down within the first year,” Brown said. “It’s taken some time obviously to get to this point of actually demolishing the building.”
Brown told the committee that Clintonville City Attorney Keith Steckbauer has been involved. He added that a raze or repair order that the city issued has expired.
“[There are] no indications that the property owner is willing to do anything with this property,” Brown said.
Brown requested that the city raze the building as soon as possible. An asbestos inspection will have to be done prior to demolition.
“I’ve had several phone calls over the last year-and-a-half in regards to this property about varmints coming in and out of there,” Brown said.
According to a Clintonville Public Works staff report, the fire causing the damage to the building structure at 5 Ginger Court happened in 2015. The damage of the fire exceeds the value of replacement.
On Sept. 14, 2016, a letter was sent by the city’s building inspector to Peggy Wetzel, the owner of the property. At that time, she was given 60 days to remove the burnt out building structure. Nothing has transpired since then.
That same document contained a cost estimate of $6,900 for a Fremont company, Go Green Recycling, to raze the building.
Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the committee that the city attempted to negotiate a sale of the property to a neighboring property owner, but it did not happen.
If the city decides to act on the raze order, Eveland said the city would be responsible for paying the cost. That cost would be placed on the tax roll for that property.
She added that there are currently back taxes owed on the property.
“We’re not going to be able to collect that,” Eveland said. “We’re either going to have to assess it and let it sit there as a vacant property collecting back taxes or we’re going to have to take the property. Then we would be on the hook for any back taxes to the other taxing entities.”
She said there are also past due water utility charges and a fire call fee tied to the property. The back taxes, water utility charges and fire call fee total around $3,500, Eveland said.
Eveland recommended the city move forward to take the property, adding that the property owner may deed the property to the city. This would simplify the process.
Committee Chairman Jim Supanich pointed out that before the city can proceed, it needs three quotes on file for the cost to raze the property.
The committee took no action at the meeting, but requested that Brown obtain more demolition quotes to present at the September streets committee meeting.
The city also paid