The St. Clair Board of Aldermen deemed a building dangerous after a show-cause hearing took place Monday night, Aug. 6, before the regular meeting.
Letters were sent July 6 to the two owners, Linda Foster and Yorka Jones, of 120 N. Frisco St. notifying them of the hearing and what will take place during the hearing, according to City Attorney Kurt Voss.
He then called City Building Inspector Jeremy Crowe to the podium to answer questions about the building.
Crowe said the police reported that the building was in poor living condition and he was asked to inspect it himself. The prior occupant had died, he added.
In January, a notice was sent to the owners stating the building was as dangerous deemed by Crowe and the code of ordinances. The owners had 10 days to fix and repair the issues based on Crowe’s findings or be penalized.
He said the roof is “straining” the walls, which are leaning; the floors are rotting and have termite damage, in addition to being uneven; the electric service is in poor condition with outdated fixtures; and there is a question whether the plumbing is operable due to uncleanly sinks, vanity, bathtub and toilet.
The cost to fix the building would exceed 50 percent of the value of the building, according to Crowe, which is the limit under the code of ordinances.
Voss asked if there is anyway that the building can be repaired.
“Anything can be repaired at an expense, but it’s not worth it as far as structure. There’s a lot of issues,” Crowe responded.
Voss asked if it is Crowe’s opinion that the building is dangerous to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of St. Clair. Crowe answered yes.
“Is it your opinion the building is a nuisance?” Voss asked Crowe. He replied with “Definitely.”
Voss additionally asked if the building was unsightly and the Crowe’s response was “Definitely.”
Crowe said Linda Foster’s sons contacted him to represent his mother at the show-cause hearing. Crowe said Linda Foster currently resides in a nursing home.
Voss asked if anyone was present on behalf of the Foster family and no one stepped up.
“Is it your opinion that the building should be demolished?” Voss asked Crowe. His response was “Yes.”
“Are you asking that this board finds the building dangerous and order the owners to destroy it within 30 days and if not, that the city proceed and remove the building with all due haste?” Voss asked Crowe.
Crowe’s reply was “Yes.” The board voted 4-0 in favor of finding the building dangerous.
“We should move forward with the notice to proceed to owners that they need to rectify the situation,” Mayor Ron Blum said.