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September 25, 2013

Council asked to take action on dilapidated house

An Athens resident asked City Council members Monday to take action on a dilapidated house on West Pryor Street for the sake of her grandchild.

During a public hearing on a house at 905 W. Pryor St., Marcia Day of Glenn Valley Drive told council members the dilapidated house and overgrown lot, which is near her grandchild”s home, has been in poor condition for some time and attracts vermin and other pests.

“This house is in pitiful condition … I implore you to do something about it,” said Day, a former Athens High School teacher.

City building inspector Eric Waddell informed council members and Day that letters were going out soon to property owner John Hopkins notifying him that the city is going to condemn the house. He will have 45 days to repair or demolish the property, and then the matter comes back to the council. Waddell said he would recommend demolition at that time. The owner could appeal the decision to Circuit Court, he said.

Council members voted to declare the West Pryor Street property a public nuisance so further action could be taken.

Council President Harold Wales asked any resident living near a dilapidated house or overgrown property in the city to bring them to the council”s attention by calling City Hall.

“This City Council is determined to clean up areas that we have seen for far too long,” Wales said. “We are on the job and we are going to clean up this city.”

Waddell said the city has already taken action on 16 houses over the past 12 months; three were repaired and the rest were demolished.

This was just one of several public hearings held Monday on dilapidated houses and overgrown properties. Council members also took the following action:

• Held public hearing on unsafe structure at 312 Vine St.;

• Approved paying $8,887 cost to demolish home at 312 Vine St. and placing lien on property to recoup cost;

• Held public hearing on unsafe structure at 1204 Widow Drive;

• Approved paying $5,591 cost to demolish home at 1204 Widow Drive and placing lien on property to recoup cost;

• Held public hearing on whether to declare overgrown grass or weeds at 1702 Levert Ave.  a public nuisance;

• Declared property at 1702 Levert Ave. a public nuisance so vegetation could be cut;

• Held public hearing on whether to declare overgrown grass or weeds at 1101 Bristol St. a public nuisance;

• Took no action on overgrown grass or weeds at 1101 Bristol St. because owner cut vegetation;

• Held public hearing on whether to declare overgrown grass or weeds at 701 Coleman Ave. a public nuisance;

• Took no action on overgrown grass or weeds at 701 Coleman Ave. because owner cut vegetation;

• Held public hearing on whether to declare overgrown grass or weeds at 1207 N. Houston St. a public nuisance;

• Took no action on overgrown grass or weeds at 1207 N. Houston St. because owner cut vegetation;

• Held a public hearing on whether to declare overgrown grass or weeds at Summit Lakes Subdivision a public nuisance;

• Took no action on overgrown grass or weeds at Summit Lakes Subdivision because owner cut vegetation.

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