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City may begin demolishing Pine Street home

A rundown home at 501 Pine St. will be coming down after the city gave the homeowners more than three months to tear down or repair the home.

Department of Development director Jeff Johnson said the city will begin demolition of the soon as the Hartselle City Council adopts a resolution giving him the order to proceed, which could be at tonight’s council meeting.

The council is considering a resolution giving the order. If approved, Johnson said he would proceed with the order Wednesday.

“If the homeowner doesn’t have the house demolished by the time of the council meeting Tuesday, I will ask the council to proceed with the demolition of the house,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the city would keep records of how much the demolition would cost and the cost would then be charged back to the homeowner. If the property went to another tax sale, the buyer would have to pay back the demolition costs before he could own the property.

During a work session Monday, Johnson said he planned to have the house burned. The exact date of the burn would be set by the city and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

The only thing that could slow down the demolition of the building would be whether there is asbestos inside the structure. An asbestos test is scheduled for this morning. If it comes back positive for asbestos, the city would have to remove the asbestos before destroying the home, but if not, the home could be destroyed as soon as by the end of the week.

Residents approached the council nearly three months ago about the home. A public hearing was held on the home June 26, when David Richard, son-in-law of homeowner William Chunn, said the family would agree to demolish the house.

During the meeting, it was also revealed that the home was purchased at a tax sale and that the right of redemption had just passed, which caused a 60-day delay in the project.

However, no action has been taken by the landowner to remove the home.

“I’ve tried to contact the homeowner. City attorney Larry Madison has attempted to contact them, but we’ve had no response within the last 60 days,” Johnson said.

In other business, the council:

• planned to approve its FY2013 General Fund Budget along.

• may grant approval for year end budget adjustments.

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