City assisting in cleaning up properties

Marianne Gillespie

City officials approved work in conjunction with dilapidated properties at its Monday night meeting.

Aldermen approved advertising for proposals to acquire the former Jane’s Ceramics building at 940 N. Second St.

The ongoing issue sparked numerous discussions about what to do with the property downtown.

After Jane Prince died, the building was left to her family.

The mortgage is in default and economic development chairman Chris Boyer said the mortgage company ceased doing business in the state.

The business had a HELP loan with the city, taken out in 2004.

The city will be taking over the building essentially through abandonment, Boyer said.

Developers have approached city officials, and anyone making a bid on the property must have the building up to code within 12 months.

The roof, and a tree growing out of the back of the building seem to be the biggest problems, Boyer said.

The city also placed an orange fence around the back of the property for safety reasons.

Boyer said the measure should only cost the city a few various fees.

City officials also approved, in a 6-2 vote, to give Tax Increment Financing incentives for another building in poor condition to be demolished. Sandi Levell and Rich Underwood voted against the measure.

A redevelopment agreement between the city and Irvin Latta will be drafted, which includes reimbursement of up to $5,000 in demolition costs for the property at 512 N. Fourth St.

Aldermen said the house was left to PAWS.

“We have enough dilapidated houses in town,” Boyer said, noting it is on a main street.