St. Clair Board of Aldermen approved an order for a property owner to make repairs to a building that has been deemed dangerous.
Before the board’s regular meeting, Monday, March 5, a show-cause hearing took place regarding a residence located at 155 N. Main St. Due to city code violations, the structure on the property has been deemed a dangerous building and a public nuisance.
Attorney Brandon Bardot, with Aubuchon, Buescher, & Goodale, LLC in Union, represented the property owner Thomas R. Schuh at the hearing. Schuh was not present.
City Attorney Kurt Voss said the structure on the property is a dangerous building pursuant to city code Section 6-61 and the structure is a public nuisance pursuant to city code Section 6-63.
Voss said that Schuh consented to the board ordering for the repairs to the structure on his property be made by certain dates. If they are not met, then the city can give a 10-day notice to have the building demolished.
He gave deadlines of when Schuh should have certain building repairs finished before the city can intervene. The roof must be replaced with permit purchased and a completed building inspection must be done by June 5, according to Voss. A sub floor replacement, approved by the building inspector, must be completed by Aug. 5.
All other structure repairs should be completed by Sept. 5 “to have this building no longer be constituted as a dangerous building or public nuisance,” Voss said.
He added that if those deadlines are not met, the building inspector will give Schuh a 10-day notice of when the city will tear down the building.
“We certainly rather the building owner, I think on behalf of the city, resolve these issues and his lawyer has indicated that is his desire,” Voss said.
Rather than having the board decide to tear it down, Voss advised the board to give Schuh the opportunity to repair the building. Bardot said that this agreement is understood by Schuh.
“Hasn’t he had the opportunity to make these repairs before (and) hasn’t done it?” Alderwoman Janet Viehland asked.
Voss answered with yes and that Schuh was sent notices last year by the building inspector.
“We would always prefer that a property owner repair their property rather than asking to get the taxpayers of the city to incur the cost and expense of a demolition, which can be expensive,” Voss said.
If the city ends up demolishing the building, the expense becomes a tax lien on Schuh’s property meaning he does not have to pay until city officials enforce payment through collection proceedings, according to Voss.
Viehland asked why Schuh is now concerned with repairing the building if he has not in the past. Bardot replied that Schuh has been taking steps to fix the building’s issues one step at a time due to the many problems the building has.
The board voted 3-0 to approve the order for Schuh to repair the building by the established deadlines. Alderman Greg Talleur was absent from the meeting.