City officials have taken the first step toward having a pair of properties demolished.
At a July 12 committee of the whole meeting, aldermen directed city attorney Virgil Thurman to being demolition proceedings against two properties owned by Dean Resser.
The first property, located at 602 N. Center St., is situated near Hammond-Henry Hospital.
In a document for the city council, financial director Jim Hughes wrote, “This property has long been abandoned. Several years ago, a tree fell in the yard and has yet to be removed. The residence appears to be unable to be brought up to code. The weeds in the property are also an issue. Mr. Resser has appeared in court, been fined and just pays the fine with no intent to repair the property.”
The second property is located at 644 E. Park St. A former up-and-down duplex, the property also is in disrepair.
City officials said Resser has received offers from parties interested in purchasing both properties, but has turned down all offers.
“We continue to cite (Resser) for ordinance violation, and he continues to pay,” said Thurman, adding Resser has been fined at least three times.
Though the city has the option to issue daily tickets to Resser regarding the property, only a handful of tickets have been issued.
“The judge dismisses the tickets and gives (Resser)?extensions (to clean up the property),” said Geneseo police chief Tom Piotrowski.
City officials say they have received numerous complaints from citizens regarding the properties.
“There has to be some solution to this,” said alderman?Keith?Kennett. “We need to throw the code book at him.”
Several years ago, the Center Street property was inspected by now-retired Geneseo building inspector Kent Anderson. At the time, Anderson found the building to be structurally sound.
Thurman said a special search warrant could be requested to allow current inspector Rick Mills access to the property to see if it has become structurally unsound in the ensuing years.
Thurman told the council there has to be a legal basis in order for the city to demolish someone’s home.
“There is a clause in our building code that says if there’s been no action made to repair issues the property owner has been aware of for two years, then we can move forward,” said Thurman.
The attorney told council members court costs alone to proceed with the demolition could cost the city $1,500 to $1,700.
“We would then have a lien on the property for demolition and could get the money back,”?he said.
Thurman said it has been “years and years” since the city last had to demolish a property.
“We will give (Resser) notice that he has so many days to bring the properties up to code before it goes to demolition,” said Hughes.
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