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City Council Orders Demolition of Two Properties

 City Council Orders Demolition of Two Properties

By Crystal Howerton

The Edina Board of Aldermen held a Public Hearing on Monday evening, October 20, 2008 in regard to two dilapidated structures in Edina.

The Board of Alderman heard and considered evidence from City Inspector Jim Linville regarding the condition of buildings located at 101 East Clay and 302 North First Street, Edina, MO in accordance with Ordinance No. 548. Board members heard comments from City Attorney Jo Fortney and Ronnie McCauley of Edina, as well.

City Council members said that the City Inspector first notified Jack McCauley, owner, in October 2007 regarding the “dangerous house located at 302 North First Street in Edina.” According to Linville, the residence was in a dilapidated condition and was detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of Edina residents, and was a public nuisance as per Ordinance No. 548.

“Specifically, the foundation has settled and the house is setting in the ground, the back door is open and animals have been defecating inside, exterior siding is rotten on the entire house, numerous storm windows are falling out, several windows are broken, the back porch ceiling has fallen in, the gutters are missing and some of the garage transite siding is cracked, broken and missing,” Linville’s letter stated.

“Additionally, there are numerous piles of brush, car parts, and miscellaneous debris littering the lot, and trees and vines growing up around the house.”

The letter further stated that, because of this advanced deterioration, and as set forth in Ordinance No. 548, McCauley would have 30 days to commence demolition and proceed continuously without unnecessary delay until finished.

Additionally, a similar letter was issued at the same time regarding the dangerous house located at 101 E. Clay in Edina. During the public hearing, Council members recognized that demolition had commenced at 101 E. Clay, however, had not been completed in a timely manner.

On Monday evening, Linville again reported his findings from the October inspections, as well as discussing improvements that have been made to the property at 302 North First since last fall. Linville said that prior to the meeting he had again visited the property. He observed that brush had been cut down and removed, the back door had been secured, fixed storm windows that were falling out, fixed several broken windows and removed masonite siding, however, this exposed the asbestos. He also noted that there was still a broken window in the back door, which allows access to wildlife.
At this time, Ronnie McCauley announced that his father, Jack, felt that the house at 302 North First could be repaired and again made habitable. It was his opinion that there is a lack of low-cost housing (starter houses) available to young people in Edina. However, Linville is of the opinion that the cost of repairs to said property is not justifiable.

City Attorney Jo Fortney discussed two demolition notifications sent by the City of Edina to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Air Pollution Control Program on August 14, 2008, which indicated a demolition start date of August 26, 2008 and a completion date of October 25, 2008. Notices were sent to Jack and Yvonne McCauley at that time. However, recently, it came to the City’s attention that additional interested parties had not been notified. It became necessary for the City to postpone demolition in order to properly notify all interested or future interested parties, including The Citizen’s Bank of Edina, which holds a lien on the property, as well as the Knox County Collector due to delinquent property taxes. This notification was issued on September 24, 2008. Since, an amended completion date was applied for and granted.

At this time, City Council members discussed their options and came to a decision regarding the two properties. In a unanimous vote, City Council members agreed to allow McCauley until December 31, 2008 to complete the ordered demolition and properly dispose of the rubble and remains. If not done, the City will again request an extension on the completion date and take over the demolition. A lien will be placed on the properties until demolition costs have been paid.

“The City Council is of the opinion that a year has been more than adequate time to resolve this situation,” stated Mayor Davey Strickler. “The Council has made every effort to work with the McCauley’s in regard to these properties, even giving them an additional 60 plus days to complete the necessary demolition.”