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Nuisance property demolition costs city $15,000

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 11:21 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 11:39 a.m. CDT
City employee TJ Parsons uses a John Deere backhoe to tear off the east side of a nuisance property Dec. 11 located at 405 N. Cherry St. in Creston owned by Harvey Hascall Jr. of Des Moines.

In December, Creston city employees used a John Deere backhoe to demolish a nuisance property — owned by Harvey Hascall Jr. of Des Moines — on 405 N. Cherry Street in Creston.

How much did that cost?

Total billing for the demolition project was just more than $15,350. Mike Taylor, city administrator, said this morning the cost for this project was a budgeted item.

“We budget about $50,000 each year for house demolitions,” Taylor said. “We budget that money because we have a lot houses in disrepair in Creston that create safety concerns for neighbors. That was the case on North Cherry. This house was a hazard to the neighborhood.”

The house on North Cherry was one of five houses demolished in the past 13 months. Taylor said the city prefers to work with the homeowners by sending them notices about their nuisances, but often times they have neither the desire nor funds to fix the nuisance.

That’s when the city begins the process of resolving the nuisance concern through the court system. That’s what happened to the North Cherry Street nuisance.

There is now a court-ordered charge of $5,000 assessed to the property on North Cherry to pay for the demolition costs paid for by city taxpayers. Those funds will be collected in the same manner as general property tax delinquencies.

“We will collect the $5,000 once the property is sold,” Taylor said. “That’s really the only way to recoup any of the money for demolition costs. That is, unless, the property owner writes us a check — which I would say is unlikely.”

In other city news:

Bowling tournament

The ninth annual McKinley Park nine-pin bowling tournament is slated Feb. 1 at Panther Lanes in Creston. Teams must enter by Jan. 14. Cost is $125 for the five-person teams.

Bowling start times are 1, 4 and 7 p.m.

Bowlers must be at least 21 years old. All proceeds from this bowling tournament go to the McKinley Park Restoration Fund. For more information, call 641-782-2000 ext. 2.

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