The Monett Building Board has extended a final chance to the owners of 109 E. Broadway to repair their building or face a recommendation of demolition to the Monett City Council.
Maintenance of the building was discussed at a hearing held on Oct. 3. Eluteria Rodriguez, who lives in Montclair, Calif., was present to discuss complaints that dated back to Feb. 2, 2010.
According to Wade Ennes, current building inspector, the Rodriguez building, which has housed businesses and residents for many decades, has been vacant for some time. Windows have been broken out and the house has not been maintained. In one room, the floor is missing.
Five complaints have been filed with the Monett Police Department, the last followed the serving of a federal search warrant on a resident.
Rodriguez said she and her husband, Jose DeJesus Rodriguez, had received no notice of any violations. She had been informed a few weeks prior to the hearing of problems by her brother, who lives in Monett.
Rodriguez said she had borrowed $40,000 against the property to repair and refurbish the second floor. She said the city could pay the owners that amount then demolish the structure.
Board member Greg Davis responded that no demolition order had yet been issued and wanted to see improvements made. Rodriguez said she could only afford $3,000 to make repairs only on the exterior. She asked for three months to do the exterior work.
Dan Crouch, owner of a business adjacent to the house, said the property was generally dilapidated. Windows had been broken and glass left in the uncut yard. Insects and rodents living in the building were finding their way onto his property. He asked to have the building removed to resolve the issue.
The board convened after choosing to investigate possible liens against the property. When the board met again on Oct. 17, board chairman Steven DeSutter reported there were no liens against the property, following a review by the city attorney's office.
DeSutter expressed concern that granting a three-month grace period would only extend the lack of maintenance that had occurred in the past. At the present time, the building was not habitable. Considering the distance of the owners, board members feared the structure would be allowed to return to its present condition, forcing another hearing to resolve the situation.
The board voted that all violations would have to be resolved within 30 days on the building's exterior. Determination would be made by the building inspector, based on the 2006 International Residential Building Code.
If all required repairs were not completed by Nov. 17, the board agreed to recommend demolition to the city council.