City council revisits dilapidated house
Hillsboro city council members Tuesday set a Dec. 4 hearing to discuss, for a third time, a dilapidated house on W. Grand St.
At the council’s last meeting, neighbor Kevin Bartel talked about 312 W. Grand St., owned by Dick and Carla Hein, which had missing siding, plastic covering hanging in shreds over bare wood, and north double doors blocked and unable to open. Bartel said he and his wife have seen animals entering the crawl space beneath the house.
“Since our last meeting, I have heard from Mr. Hein and an attorney for the local creditor,” city attorney Josh Boehm said.
Boehm said some preliminary work has been done on the house.
“At this point it is the city’s call whether the beginning of work is sufficient,” Boehm said.
Susan Robson, the Heins’ lawyer, said enough siding has been purchased to complete the work, some siding has been installed, and some new windows have been put in.
Council members were pleased to see needed work getting started, but didn’t want to leave room for the work to stop and never be finished.
“This can’t have an open-ended resolution date in my opinion,” mayor Lou Thurston said.
Thurston said he appreciates that the owners have “jumped on it,” but that a process has to be in place to make sure the work is completed.
City administrator Larry Paine said the Heins have had sufficient time to get work started, and the city should see that work continues.
“This particular property has been neglected for quite some time,” Paine said.
Boehm said the city’s next step is to set a hearing date to determine if the house is in unsafe condition.
“We had a successful resolution on Eisenhower St. and I’m confident we can have a successful resolution here,” Thurston said, referring to a house recently rehabilitated after a fire.
“My concern is that it snowed this week,” Robson said. “I would ask that there be some leniency,” Robson said.
In other matters, council members agreed to donate $500 to a Christmas tree the Chamber of Commerce wants to purchase and provide electricity for its lights, and did a preliminary review of electricity billing with an eye toward making a decision on whether rates should be changed at the next meeting.