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, January 19, 2022, 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; Dwayne Metcalf, Board Commissioner; Mike Lanam, Board Commissioner; Bob Strader, Building Inspector; Dale Coffey, Board Attorney; Isaac Tumey, Code Enforcement Officer; Mae Cooper, Administrative Assistant to the Building Inspector; and Mac Dunn, City Superintendent.
III. CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the minutes from the December 15, 2021 meeting was made by Commissioner Lanam and seconded by Commissioner Metcalf. Motion passed 3 – 0
IV. PUBLIC SIGN IN DISCUSSION
190 W. Harrison St: Property owner Cecelia Krefft appeared before the Commissioners. Ms. Krefft stated Duke Energy is interested in purchasing the property. She is working with Kathy Taylor from Keller Williams to handle the process. Inspector Strader stated he spoke with Duke Energy about the property. Duke is interested in purchasing the ground only; they are not interested in the buildings. Removal of the buildings would be Ms. Krefft’s responsibility. Commissioner Gray asked what was going on with the buildings. Inspector Strader stated the front porch on the market/café building is being supported by a screw jack. There is separation on the southwest corner. The awning or porch roof is pulling away from the face of the building. The roof is coming off the west side of the building facing the railroad track. Inspector Strader and Nick Lafary from Lafary Group Corporation met with Ms. Krefft onsite. Commissioner Gray asked if the building (market/café) is unsafe. Inspector Strader presented photos to the Commissioners. He stated the structure is failing. The fuse panels are overloaded. One of the panels is located in the attic. Commissioner Gray invited Mr. Nick Lafary from the Lafary Corporation to speak. Mr. Lafary stated he was contacted by realtor Kathy Taylor. He said Ms. Krefft gave permission for Inspector Strader to be present when he met with her at the property. Mr. Lafary confirmed, when asked by Commissioner Gray, that both the buildings on the property are unsafe. He stated there is exposed wiring, holes in the roof, and issues with the brick masonry and foundation on the house. Commissioner Metcalf expressed his concern regarding the overhang near the sidewalk. Commissioner Gray asked if there are tenants in the building. Ms. Krefft confirmed that she has tenants living there. Commissioner Gray asked Inspector Strader if the house on the east side of the market/café building an unsafe building. Inspector Strader stated that it is unsafe. He said the house needs a lot of attention. There is soffit missing on the Harrison Street side and the east side of the structure. The siding is deteriorating and coming off the house, and there are foundation issues on the east side of the house. Inspector Strader said Code Enforcement Officer Tumey had been inside the house. Officer Tumey stated he had been called to property late winter/early spring of 2020 when he was working as the animal control officer. He had to go into the basement/crawl area for an animal issue. He stated the was standing water and mud, rotting wood and debris in the crawl space/basement. He also stated you could see “daylight” through the cracks of the of foundation. The floors on the first floor of the house were uneven due the foundation issues. Commissioner Gray asked if the structure was unsafe. Officer Tumey replied, “Yes”. Ms. Krefft stated she had a plumber repair a broken pipe in the crawl space/basement. She also expressed her concern regarding the overhang on the store/café building. She said she may have someone who could remove it. Superintendent Mac Dunn will have barricades placed on the sidewalk to keep people away from the overhang. Commissioner Metcalf made a motion to allow Ms. Krefft thirty days to see if she can sell the property to Duke Energy before any action is taken by the Unsafe Building & Hearing Authority. Commissioner Gray seconded the motion. Motion passed 3 – 0 Ms. Krefft was instructed to attend the February 16th meeting.
485 N. Grant St: Property owner Susanne Jones appeared before the Commissioners.
V. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- A) 190 W. Harrison St: See “Public Discussion”
- B) 485 N. Grant St: In addition to the foundation issues, there is now a hole in the roof of the house. The owner called Inspector Strader when she received the letter requesting her attendance at the January meeting. She said she would not be able to attend. Commissioner Gray made a motion to have Attorney Coffey send a 10-day demolition letter to the owner. Commissioner Metcalf seconded the motion. Motion passed 3 – 0
- C) 880 S. Main St: Inspector Strader received a call from the owner. Work has begun to plug up the holes in the siding. The opening on the south end of the house has been taken care of. Repairs to the roof and the porch will be taken care of in the spring. Discussion was tabled until the May meeting.
- D) 289 N. 4th St: Tabled until the February meeting.
- E) 890 N. Main St: There is an active remodel permit and progress is being made. Off the list.
- F) 389 N. Main St: The owner has made no repairs to date. The soffit is totally gone in places which is exposing the structure to outside elements. Squatters have been found inside the shed in the back of the property. The shed had been boarded up. Commissioner Gray asked if the shed was unsafe. Inspector Strader said that it is an unsafe structure. Commissioner Gray made a motion to send the owner a 10-day demolition letter on the detached shed at 389 N. Main Street. Commissioner Lanam seconded the motion. Motion passed 3 – 0
Inspector Strader expressed his concern about the interior of the two-story structure. He stated that it is very possible birds are living inside due to the soffits being open for quite some time. Inspector Straders said the owner originally told him he was going to fix the soffits and put a new roof on the structure before he began remodeling the interior. The owner is now saying he plans to put the new roof on and fix the soffits when he begins the remodel. He said he could have plywood placed over the openings in the soffit. Commissioner Metcalf expressed his concerns about water infiltration. He asked if it has built-in gutters. Inspector Strader confirmed that it does have a built-in gutter system. He again expressed his concern about all the soffit that is missing. Commissioner Gray made a motion to have Attorney Coffey send a letter to the owner of 389 N. Main Street to request permission to enter the building and inspect the interior contents, and that any response from the owner be made by email or in writing. Commissioner Metcalf seconded the motion. Motion passed 3 – 0
- G) 409 N. Main St: Code Enforcement Officer Tumey reported he was not able to speak with the owner about the issues with the front porch of the building. He was told by the owner was ill. Commissioner Gray reported there is another property located at 760 E. Highland that is owned by this individual. The roof on the shed in the back is “shot”. He asked Officer Tumey to speak to the owner about this issue as well.
- H) 240 Vandalia St: Inspector Strader received a call from the owner. The owner wants to let the rest of the family know the UBHA’s concerns about deteriorating condition of the property. He understands it needs to “go away”. He said he has a son who may be able to help. He will get back with Inspector Strader. Discussion was tabled for 60 days.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
- A) 1415 Cross St: Officer Tumey reported the owner has taken care of clearing out and cleaning up the property. Off the List
- B) 210 W. Cunningham St: Work is being done on the outbuilding. The Commissioners will monitor.
- C) 190 W. Washington St: Inspector Strader will contact the owner regarding the issues with the detached garage in the back of the property near the alley.
- D) 490 N. Marion St: The roof is missing on the shed in the back of the property. Inspector Strader will contact the owner.
- E) 1060 S. Colfax St: The shed has been removed. Off the list.
- F) 60 N. Mulberry St: The structure has been taken down. The debris is still there. Inspector Strader will monitor the cleanup. Off the list.
With no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Lanam and seconded by Commissioner Metcalf.
Motion passed 3 – 0.