Council assesses $127K

Published 12:24 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

Settlement reduced to $50K if paid in 90 days

The Andalusia City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution that put abatement compliance costs to the property owners totaling almost $127,000 the city paid in cleaning up the abated properties, or settle the matter with property owners for $50,000 if that amount is paid the city in 90 days.

The council first took abatement action on the four properties involved in 2016, declaring they included structures or items in disrepair that caused a public nuisance. In the abatement, if a property owner does not comply with the legal directive to correct issues within a specified timeline, the city may choose to do what it deems necessary, and pass the costs along to the property owner.

That was the action taken by the city, but not yet resolved with the owners of the properties.

As a result, the city council approved a resolution attaching the charges for those property improvements to the owner’s or owners’ property taxes. The resolution relates to:

  • 201 S. Three Notch St., owned by Tisdale Family Properties, and also known as the former opera house. Total cost of repairs: $18,818.65
  • 223 South Cotton, owned by John Tisdale, the depot. Total cost: $17,032.74
  • Lot adjacent to 233 South Cotton St., owned by John W. Tisdale Jr. and Jennifer H. Tisdale. Total cleanup cost: $19,784
  • 254 Historic Central St., where the city completed cleanup of buildings in the process of being torn down, and dealt with rail cars, Moore said. Total cost: $73,088.78

The totals include a 10 percent fee that will be charged by the revenue commissioner’s office if the settlement costs aren’t paid in 90 days and the costs have to be added to property taxes. Current Revenue Commissioner Chuck Patterson explained that if the revenue commission office collects costs associated with an abatement, the county commission receives 10 percent of the abatement money for their efforts in collection.

Neither Tisdale nor his attorney attended the public hearing, but Mark Christensen, who serves as the city’s attorney, said they reached an agreement in principle last week.

Mayor Earl Johnson said the settlement agreement takes into account actual costs from outside companies incurred by the city.

“The other costs were for the work the city’s employees did,” he said.