Several blighted properties will be going down in the near future, including a former meth lab, and one that was slated to be condemned was granted a temporary reprieve after the Junction City Commission cast its vote Tuesday night.
A home owned by Gary Houser at 420 W. Pine St. was among several properties Junction City Fie Chief Terry Johnson spoke to commissioners about with intent to solicit bids for their demolition.
Houser attended the public comment section of the city’s Tuesday night meeting where he asked for extra time to clean up the inside of the residence and deal with multiple code violations in the home.
“The structure still has a lot of mitigation issues that it’s going to have to go through … In 120 days, some exterior work has been done, but bringing it up to code has not been done,” Johnson said of the home.
Johnson said “an immense amount of work” needed to take place to make the residence livable again.
“We’re looking at all the electrical, the plumbing, the heating, the mechanical — all that has to be replaced,” he said.
The city voted to offer Houser until May 1 to fix the violations and bring the house up to code. Houser said the work on the inside had not been done because he believed he was not allowed to enter the residence and that he would need a special permit to do work within the structure.
Johnson said that was not the case.
Commissioners voted in favor of soliciting bids for the demolition of five other Junction City properties, however, including ones at 308 N. Washington St., 609 W. 10th St., 134 E. 15th St., 817 and 819 W. 11th St., and 137 E. 16th St.
The structure at 308 N. Washington was at meth lab at one point in its history, according to Johnson. He said the property owners were unreachable and nothing had been done to fix the property. He described the residence as “unlivable."
“This property, being that it’s been involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, and the fact that there’s no sewer, no water, there’s actually sewage in the basement … we recommend that this house be torn down,” Johnson said.
Necessary work had also not taken place at the other properties to bring them up to code and property owners had proven impossible to make contact with.
The commission voted in favor of soliciting bids for the demolition of each property in turn.