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Prairie City News

House damaged by fire set to come down

The house at 300 S. Marshall St., consumed by fire about one year ago, is approved for a City Demolition Grant to take down the structure located on one of Prairie City's most visible streets.
The house at 300 S. Marshall St., consumed by fire about one year ago, is approved for a City Demolition Grant to take down the structure located on one of Prairie City's most visible streets.

A house that was damaged beyond repair during a fire about a year ago is coming down. The Prairie City City Council approved a City Demolition Grant application for the property at 300 S. Marshall St. for $3,000 to take down the house which sits on one of the city’s main roadways.

“This property has come up quite a bit,” city administrator Joe Bartello said.

Councilwoman Dianne Taylor questioned if the city had served the property with any nuisance notifications since it had been identified in the city’s abandoned home process. If it has been served, it would not be eligible for the grant according to the program’s guidelines.

“This particular house, wasn’t it on our nuisance list?” Taylor asked.

Bartello said the property had not been served with any notices because the city was informed it would be going into foreclosure and the bank was planning to demolish it.

“Then, the insurance paid on the fire damage claim which was enough for (the owner) to pay off what they owed in taxes so it went back to the property owner,” Bartello said. “They paid it off, approached us and said they want to demolish it.”

Bartello said the city is also holding on to a $10,000 liability policy for the property.

Approved by the Prairie City Economic Development Commission at a previous meeting, the grant is an agreement with a property owner to assist in building demolition, removal or debris and site grading. The applicant is required to pay $1 per square foot of the building to be demolished. The property must be free and clear of any previous mortgages, rental agreements, other ownership interest, past due property taxes and liens. The latter, liens on the property was a concern of councilwoman Ann McDonald.

“There is no lien search in here,” McDonald said, referencing council documents.

Bartello said he would follow up on the lien search and the council approved the grant contingent on a clean lien check.

The grant program was developed to assist property owners with demolition of aging and substandard homes or buildings to improve the quality of neighborhoods in the city limits. Through the demolition, the community will benefit from the building’s removal by improved health, safety and welfare.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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