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, March 16, 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; Mae Cooper, Administrative Assistant to the Building Inspector; Mac Dunn, City Superintendent; and Mayor Kenny Costin.
III. CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the minutes from the February 16, 2022 meeting was made by Commissioner Lanam and seconded by Commissioner Gray. Motion passed 3 – 0
IV. DEMOLITION BIDS: 389 N. Main St – Red mini barn in the rear of the property
Ten demolition contractors were contacted to submit demolition bids. One bid was received:
Lafary Group Corporation $1,650.00
Commissioner Gray made a motion to accept the bid from Lafary Group Corporation for $1,650.00. Commissioner Lanam seconded the motion. Motion passed 3 – 0
V. PUBLIC SIGN IN DISCUSSION
190 W. Harrison St: Property owner Cecelia Krefft signed in to speak to the Commissioners. She stated she had contacted Jack Broyer as suggested by one of the Lauck brothers. Mr. Broyer has been over to the property. He told Ms. Krefft he could demolish the building on the west side of the property without damaging the building on the east side. She has not negotiated a price; however, she spoke with Mr. Broyer this afternoon about removing the utilities from the building on the west side. Commissioner Gray asked for a clarification of addresses for the buildings on the property. Ms. Krefft stated the building to the east has an address of 190 and 190 ½ W. Harrison Street and the building to the west, the old market, has an address of 192 W. Harrison Street. Ms. Krefft asked for an extension of 30 days to further investigate the situation. She said there were two people who told her the building to the west should come down and she is agreement that it should be taken down. She stated Ross Drapalik explained that when the railroad raised their grade, water started to back up into the market. That is the source of the mold on the floor and behind the wall inside the building. She did not rent out the building after discovering the mold. She did not feel it was a danger to the tenants in the building at 190 and 190 ½ W. Harrison Street because the mold was on the wall on the west side of the market. Commissioner Gray asked Inspector Strader if he had conducted an interior inspection of the apartment building at 190 and 190 ½ W. Harrison Street. Inspector Strader confirmed that he had made the inspection. He reported the building was unfit to live in and presented photos of the outside of the building. He stated there are structural problems with foundation and major repairs are needed. There is also a basement under the structure. It was raining was raining quite hard on the day of his inspection and he observed the rainwater coming off this structure on the east side (between the two buildings) and going into the basement. Access to basement is through a “hatch” on the floor inside the house. However, there were several items on top of the hatch which the tenant attempted to clear. Inspector Strader, seeing how bad the condition of the structure was, felt it was not necessary to go any further. Commissioner Gray asked if there was anything else affecting the livability of the structure. Commissioner Lanam, who accompanied Inspector Strader on the inspection, stated that neither the building to the west nor the building to the east have gutters and there is not much distance between the two buildings, thirty inches. He and Inspector Strader both observed water running off both buildings into the ground. He stated there is no place for the water to go except into the basement of the house. His biggest concern is the damage to the structure at 190 and 190 ½ W. Harrison Street caused by the water infiltration. Ms. Krefft stated she had a local plumber repair a water leak in the basement on two occasions. She does not dispute that water is getting into basement; however, she believes the building at 190 and 190 ½ can be restored. Commissioner Gray reminded Ms. Krefft that the Unsafe Building and Hearing Authority have been talking with her about the property since last fall and asked why she hasn’t done anything. He agreed she had put some batting up under the soffits. Ms. Krefft stated she had met with Inspector Strader and Mr. Lafary from Lafary Group Corporation. Mr. Lafary gave her an estimate to take down both structures. She did not do anything in January of this year because she was experiencing effects of the the Omicron virus. She again stated Mr. Jack Broyer said he could take down the structure on the west side of the property and she trusts his expertise. Commissioner Gray asked Inspector Strader, in his professional opinion, is 190 & 190 1/2 W. Harrison Street was an unsafe building. Inspector Strader stated that it is an unsafe building. When asked if there were any other comments, Ms. Krefft made a clarification about the bugs that were discovered during the inspection with Inspector Strader and Commissioner Lanam. She stated the bugs were German roaches and not bed bugs. She also stated she called Terminix and had them treat the apartment for the bugs. Commissioner Metcalf asked if Ms. Krefft has a proposed timeframe to remove the building on the west side-192 W. Harrison St. She responded she did not. She said she is having trouble with her phone keeping a charge. She is supposed to meet with him this Friday to look at the structure. Commissioner Metcalf asked Ms. Krefft if she has a plan for 190 & 1990 ½ W. Harrison Street. She stated she has thought about it but getting a contractor to do the work may be difficult. Commissioner Gray read aloud the minutes from the January meeting a report given by Code Enforcement Officer Isaac Tumey, who is also an Animal Control officer for Morgan County. Mr. Tumey responded to a call late winter/early spring of 2020 regarding an animal in the basement of 190 & 190 ½ W. Harrison Street. The minutes stated he had to enter the basement/crawl area to retrieve the animal. Upon entering the basement, he found standing water, mud, rotting wood and debris in the crawl space/basement. He could also see daylight through the cracks in the foundation. The floors on the main floor of the structure were uneven due to the foundation issues. Commissioner Gray asked Ms. Krefft if she had done anything since the time Officer Tumey was there to patch up the foundation. Ms. Krefft stated Mr. Tumey did not inform her of rotting wood. She said she contacted Mr. Mike Quillen to repair a leak when she was told there was water in the basement. Commissioner Lanam made a motion to send a 10-day demolition letter for both properties, and to inform Ms. Krefft of Unsafe Building and Hearing Authority’s intentions referencing state codes regarding unsafe buildings. Commissioner Gray seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Commissioner Gray explained to Ms. Krefft she would have ten days after receiving the demolition letter to exert her rights under the state statute. Commissioner Gray also informed Ms. Krefft the next meeting date is April 20, 2022.
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A) 190 W. Harrison St: See “Public Discussion”
B) 485 N. Grant St: Tabled until the April 20th meeting.
C) 389 N. Main St: Inspector Strader reported the property is listed for sale. Discussion tabled.
D) 409 N. Main St: Repairs have been made to the back of the structure. The owner has plans to make repairs to the front, specifically the porch area. Off the list.
E) 190 W. Washington St: Inspector Strader spoke with the owner regarding the deteriorating condition of the building in the back of the property. The owner said he will make the needed repairs. There is a second building that appeared to be on the same property; it is sits on the adjoining property. Inspector Strader will contact the owner. Discussion was tabled.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
A) 400 N. Sycamore St: A tree limb has fallen on the lean-to that is attached to the garage in the rear of the property. This is rental property; the owner may not be aware of this. Mae Cooper will send a letter to the owner.
B) 240 Vandalia St: Commissioner Lanam reported he had visited the property. It appears the yard is being used as a salvage yard. The structure has a lot of issues. The overhang on the gable ends have broken off and are hanging down against the house, the roof on the rear of the structure is sagging and maybe taking on water. There is a lean-to addition to the garage that is rotted out and dropping into the structure. Mae Cooper will send a letter to the owner requesting his attendance at the April 20th meeting.
C) 339 N. Main St: The garage attached to the back of the house is deteriorating. Mae Cooper will send a letter to the owner requesting her attendance at the April 20th meeting.
D) 520 W. Douglas St: There is some concern about the condition of the house. Inspector Strader will contact the owner.
E) 570 S. Jefferson St: A remodel permit has been issued.
With no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Lanam and seconded by Commissioner Metcalf. Motion passed 3 – 0.
Minutes submitted by Mae Cooper, Administrative Assistant to the Building Inspector