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Commissioners cite four more properties for condemnation

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

The Clinton County Commissioners appear to be reaching their goal to get rid of dilapidated and dangerous properties, according to the report provided by County Zoning Administrator Liz Stitzel at the board’s Monday meeting.

Since the county has begun applying consistent pressure in the form of citations and liens, some problem sites have been remediated by the owners themselves. In other cases, the county has given up on getting the owner to act and has condemned the property.

As Stitzel explained early in the year when presenting the commissioners with a prioritized list of the worst non-compliant properties, condemning the structures does not give the commissioners possession of them, but it does give them the right to demolish the unsafe structures.

“Many of the structures on the original list have been dealt with,” said Stitzel.

After condemning a property, the commissioners request bids for demolition and proceed with having the structure razed. The county then places a lien on the property for the cost of the project and the property goes on the list to be auctioned at the next tax sale.

The properties approved for condemnation include:

• Hillisburg garage west of the fire station. One the garage is removed, Commissioners President Scott Shoemaker recommended giving the property to the Johnson Township fire department in Hillisburg.

• 2824 W. County Road 550 N., which has been on the watch list since May 2013 and has had four liens placed on it.

• 2224 West County Road 0 N/S, Frankfort, north of ADM, which has an outbuilding that is collapsing.

• 7146 W. Mulberry Jefferson Rd., where the structure has been demolished but the concrete basement needs to be removed.

The commissioners also approved placing a lien on the property at the northeast corner of Railroad Street and South Street in Sedalia, where cleanup seems to have stalled.

“People have complained about most of these sites since I was hired 10 years ago,” Stitzel said.

The properties are being remediated with funds set aside by the County Council out of landfill tipping fees. Once the commissioners have received bids on the sites cited for condemnation, they will determine which ones, if not all, can be razed with the funds remaining for 2017.

The board has also set aside $40,000 needed for the grant being submitted to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs for the demolition of the Manson Elevator.

At the Monday meeting, the commissioners signed a resolution to designate the old elevator a slum/blighted spot, which is a necessary classification to qualify for the grant.