Tuesday, June 6, 2023

County Supervisors to Hold Public Hearing on Dilapidated Home

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


A public hearing will be set for later this month on whether a Lafayette County house is a menace to public health, safety and welfare.

On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved setting a public hearing to determine if the condition of a dilapidated house at 74 CR 370 is a public health concern.

Building Official Joel Hollowell told the Board that the home was abandoned sometime after 2014.

“The owner abandoned the property and all his belongings inside,” Hollowell said.

Hollowell said the county had spoken to the property owner and that he is aware of the condition of the home, but is unable to financially afford the necessary repairs.

“We first contracted (the owner) in January 2020 and he asked for a little extra time to try to tear the house down,” Hollowell said. “We honored his wishes but we’ve tried to contact him several times about getting that work completed.”

Hollowell presented photos to the Board, one from 2020 and one taken last Thursday.

“You can see how grown up the property is,” he said. “But if you notice the sag in the roof, there is a 24-foot hole that runs just about the entire length of the roof.”

Hollowell said there has been graffiti and other evidence that children and teenagers have been inside the house.

“If that house collapses while kids are in there, it’ll be catastrophic,” he said.

The public hearing will likely be held in two weeks at the Board’s next regular meeting which will be at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18.

Also Monday, the Board approved county crews to remove rubbish, a dilapidated building and other debris from 22 CR 5057.

When the county does the work to clean up a property, the cost of that clean-up and/or the demolition of a structure is placed as a lien on the property.