I. CALL TO ORDER
Commissioner G. Thomas Gray called to order the regular scheduled meeting of the Unsafe Building & Hearing Authority at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, in the Council Chambers of Martinsville City Hall.
II. ROLL CALL
Commissioner Gray conducted the roll call. The following were present: G. Thomas Gray, Board
Commissioner; Mike Lanam, Board Commissioner; Dwayne Metcalf, Board Commissioner; Bob Strader, Building Inspector; Isaac Tumey, Code Enforcement Officer; Mae Cooper, Administrative Assistant to the Building Inspector; Mac Dunn, City Superintendent; Kenny Costin, Mayor
III. CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES
The minutes from the July 21, 2021 meeting were reviewed. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Commissioner Gray and seconded by Commissioner Lanam. Motion passed 3 – 0.
IV. PUBLIC SIGN IN DISCUSSION
339 N. Henry Street: Brian Berger, attorney for Wells Fargo Mortgage Company appeared before the Commissioners. He stated the owner of record has a mortgage on this property with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo received an “Order of Demolition Notice” from the Unsafe Building and Hearing Authority. Mr. Berger stated Wells Fargo Mortgage has no authority to make repairs or demolish the structure because they do not own the property. He said someone is making the payments on the mortgage loan and payments are current. Wells Fargo Mortgage Company inspected the property around June 25th of this year and discovered someone was living on the premises. Wells Fargo is trying to contact them to find out what this person’s intension are and to notify them of the code violations and the potential of the house being demolished. He asked for additional time to allow Wells Fargo to contact this individual.
Code Enforcement Officer Tumey reported he had received a complaint about the tall grass and overgrown brush. On May 21, 2021 he and Inspector Strader visited the property and found a very distinct odor coming from inside the house. Officer Tumey looked in one of the windows and found swarms of flies which led him to suspect there was something dead inside the house. He immediately called the City Police Department. The Police Department determined entry into the house was needed to do a “welfare check”. Officer Tumey and the police officers entered the house and fortunately discovered there were no human remains but only multiple dead animals and bug infestation. Officer Tumey noticed the interior of the house was in bad shape. The ceiling was caving in from water infiltration. There was also mold and the floors were “very soft”. He said they had to be careful how and where they walked so they wouldn’t fall through the floor. It appears the house has been abandoned for quite a while. Officer Tumey spoke with a health officer with the Morgan County Health Department. Based on the condition of the structure and the infestation of animals and bugs inside, the health officer stated she would have no problem condemning the house as unfit for human habitation.
Inspector Strader reported he had been in contact with Wells Fargo regarding the condition of the house. He met with an individual who had been contracted by Wells Fargo to secure the structure. Inspector Strader pointed out the sagging roof which was causing the water infiltration. Sometime after their meeting, Inspector Strader drove by the property and found a tarp secured with wood strips covering the entire structure. Inspector Strader also stated the neighbors have reported snakes inside the structure as well as a bug infestation.
The Unsafe Building and Hearing Authority’s “Notice of Demolition Order” was mailed to Wells Fargo Mortgage Company. Attorney Berger asked if the city would be willing to delay the process of opening demolition bids. He said, while a letter was sent from Wells Fargo to the owner informing them of the demolition order, there has been no response from the owner. The letter was dated August 18, 2021.
A motion was made by Commissioner Metcalf and seconded by Commissioner Gray to issue a stay of the original demolition order. Motion passed 3 – 0.
A motion was made by Commissioner Metcalf to declare a 5-day emergency demolition of this property with the demolition order notice to be served by personal delivery service to the owner of record and, to reconvene on September 29th at 7:00pm to open the demolitions bids. Commissioner Gray seconded the motion. Motion passed 3 – 0
V. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- 880 S. Main St: Tabled until March 2022.
- 189 W. Walnut St (Old Morgan County Beverage Building): The broken windows have not been repaired. It has been almost two months since he was contacted by Inspector Strader. A motion was made by Commissioner Gray and seconded by Commission Metcalf to send a letter to the owner requesting his attendance at the October 20th meeting to discuss his plans to make the repairs. Motion passed 3 – 0
- 371 W. Douglas St: A remodel permit, which included electric, was issued last year. The owner has not made contact to schedule an inspection. A letter will be sent requesting the owner to contact Inspector Strader to schedule the electrical inspection or the meter will be pulled.
- 609 N. Elliott Ave: The repair to the front porch has been made. Off the list.
- 489 Morton Ave: Inspector Strader reported ninety percent of the issues with the building has been taken care of.
- 839 N. Main St: There is a new roof on the house and siding is being put on. Tabled for 90 days.
- 1410 S. Catherine St: There is an open window on the north side of the house as well as an open hole for an air conditioner on the south side. It is questionable about the condition of the floors inside due to the large amount of animal feces. The property recently sold again. It is possible the house will be removed by the new owner. The Commissioners will monitor the property.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
- 365 W. Harrison St: Code Enforcement Officer Tumey reported the owner has just started repairing the outside of the house and is painting the inside as well.
- 377 W. Pike St: There is a two-story structure in the back yard that has a large tree limb laying on top of it. Inspector Strader will investigate.
- 227 S. Marion St: The masonite siding on the east end of the house is open. The Commissioners agreed a repair letter should be sent to the owner.
- 1010 Morton Ave: It is unclear about the stability of the structure due to the overgrown weeds surrounding the building. Officer Tumey has issued multiple notifications and fines to owner regarding code violations with the weeds.
- 690 S. Home Ave: The home faces Garfield Avenue. A small barn in the back yard has collapsed and needs to be removed.
A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Lanam and seconded by Commissioner Metcalf.
Motion passed 3 – 0.