City declares 2 structures nuisances; to be torn down

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Andalusia City Council declared two structures nuisances Tuesday, agreeing that they should be torn down. The vote followed a public hearing to discuss the problems.

The first property, the remains of a commercial building, is located at 110 Jernigan St., which intersects with South Cotton near the building that most recently housed Wilco Welding.

Director of Planning Andy Wiggins said the roof of the Jernigan Street structure is collapsed, and the free-standing walls could be dangerous. It is not worth the cost of repairs, he said.

Danny R. Lee, who along with Brand D. Denson is listed as an owner of the property, told the council a crew “started (Tuesday) morning, bringing everything out.”

Wiggins said the city’s representatives previously tried to mediate clean-up of the property to avoid abatement, or the city’s termination of the property as a nuisance. That effort was unsuccessful, Wiggins said.

City attorney Mark Christensen recommended that the council proceed with abatement, giving the owners a set period of time to complete the clean-up.

“The important thing is you don’t just stop,” Christensen told Lee.

A Ninth St. house also is slated for demolition.
Josh Dutton/Star-News

The council also abated a residential property at 304 Ninth St., owned by the heirs of Mary Arnold, none of whom attended the hearing.

Wiggins said the structure is missing an exterior wall, and both the floor and roof have collapsed, and recommended it be demolished and removed.

The vote came 16 months after the council first used an ordinance approved in 2015 to address unsafe structures in the city. This was the second set of properties abated under the ordinance.

The council also voted to assess property owners for work the city did on two parcels owned by Tisdale Family Properties as a result of those first abatements.

The cost of the demolition and removal of a structure on Pear Street was set at $34,902.

The cost of work done at 201 South Three Notch, on a building known as “the old opera house,” was assessed at $17,461. The work included sealing the building, painting, work on windows and gutters, and closing access to birds and other animals, Wiggins said.

Both amounts included the county’s 11.11 percent charges for adding the expenses to property taxes.

Christensen said the property owners were notified that the council would consider the matter. However, no one represented them at the meeting.