The Ottumwa Courier


April 1, 2014

City votes to condemn house after numerous complaints

OTTUMWA — A home located at 322 Frank St. has yielded complaints from Ottumwa residents because of its poor state, and on Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council voted 3-2 in favor of condemning the house.

According to Ottumwa Health and Inspections Director Jodi Gates, they have had issues with the home off and on for quite some time, and on Oct. 3, 2013, there was a complaint from community members about the poor condition of the home.

“The property is in an advanced state of deterioration,” Gates said.

A building inspector was required to review the state of the house, and Gates said during his first visit he noticed glass that had been broken out of windows, a very rotted roof, the cover over the outside of the entry to the basement was gone and there were other problems.

Gates said the inspector went back to the house many times since his first visit with no improvements made to the home, and there were notices sent to the owners more than once. The only response the Health and Inspections Department got back from the owners was that they had the necessary materials to do work on the house, but a necessary repair plan was never created.

Other items on the agenda included an amendment to the City Policy that will reduce the price for vacant lots sold by the city.

Currently, the City Policy sets the cost of a property owned by the city at $500 if it has been owned by the city for less than five years, and for properties owned five years or more the price is $250. The amendment will lower the price for both to $125.

“This is a way for the city to get rid of properties … and get them added back to the tax roll,” councilmember Matt Dalbey said.

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be April 15 at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, and can be seen in its entirety on GoTV.


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