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Bids being sought for Manor Drive demolition PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOHN MORTON   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 19:05

Village concerned about being accountable for any contents of value inside the condemned house

Who will be demolishing the abandoned and dilapidated house at 235 Manor Dr.?
The Village of Fredonia will soon find out, as its Village Board on Thursday, Sept. 7, approved the language for bid requests and now awaits offers.
The village also will make arrangements for any company interested in the job to gain entry into the house, which last month was deemed as beyond repair and uninhabitable by the village’s building inspector.
A raze order was requested by the village through Ozaukee County late last month, so the house is likely to come down later this month or in early October. The property’s owners — they are the children of the homeowner who died in 2012 but they have not stepped forward with any type of representation — have 30 days to make a case against the order.
The demolition job could be potentially troublesome as black mold was found throughout the house, which has a hole in the roof partially covered by a tarp. Proper removal and disposal could result in additional costs.
The village discussed whether or not to require that a demolition contractor should be bonded to ensure it doesn’t walk away from the job, knowing that such a cost would be added to any bid, and it decided against it.  
The property has been assessed at $40,000 of value for the land only, so extra or unknown costs concern Village President Don Dohrwardt.
“We’ve already spent $1,300 in attorneys fees on this,” he said. “Forty thousand will be gone fast if we keep pecking away at it.”
Roger Strohm, the village’s public works director, said he sees the task as a two-day job that could hopefully be done within the village’s estimated bill of $20,000.
The work will be paid for by the village, with those costs then turned over to the homeowners who already owe on taxes and water bills. A large bill associated with demolition would likely go unpaid and lead to foreclosure, which the county can do around the year 2020 — five years after debts emerged. Then, the debt would be applied against the value of the land.
As for the house’s foundation, Strohm  recommended it be removed instead of filled in.
“That’s right where any next house would be,” he said in regard to the quarter-acre lot’s layout.
One wildcard is the house’s contents. If they are tossed, Dohrwardt fears the owners could come after the village for their value. He also wants to avoid storing them.
He said the village should attempt to make arrangements for the siblings to remove whatever they want.
“I want to cover ourselves,” Dohrwardt said.
Strohm, who was inside the house during the inspection, said, “From what I saw, I can’t imagine there’s anything of value. My gut feeling is the answer is no.”  
However, the house’s furniture and other items have been a sore spot for the village.  A rotting couch sat in the back yard for months, drawing the ire of neighbors, and as of last week another one sits outside the house’s garage alongside other items.
Dohrwardt said village employees pulled it curbside for pick-up by trash collectors, but someone pulled it back toward the house.

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