Town Targets Downtown Eyesores For Fines

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If you own a building in downtown Woodbury and its condition does not meet criteria specified in city ordinances, you will be looking at paying a fine in the near future.

The Woodbury Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Tuesday night to start sending out notices to the owners of buildings which are in violation of the ordinances that they will have 30 days to come into compliances or risk being fined.

"We should give them a certain amount of time to come in compliance or fine them," Mayor Harold Patrick said.

Buildings on the square currently considered to be in violation of  either nuisance, eyesore or open window ordinances are the former city hall at the corner of N. Tatum and W. Main St., Terry's Plumbing on West Main between S. Tatum and South Cannon, and the two-story building at the corner of West Main and North Cannon.

A site evaluation will also be conducted of the old city hall building to determine if it is structurally sound. Walls and roofing on the building sustained significant damage during a fire at a restaurant next door earlier this year. If inspectors determine it to be unsafe, it could be condemned and torn down for public safety concerns.

Whatever is done to fix the problems with the old city hall building would certainly be of benefit to Anna Pittman and her family, including husband George and son Jason. Their building, the former home of JP's Fine Swine BBQ, was destroyed in the aforementioned fire.

Anna Pittman addressed the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday. She sought and was given permission to construct barriers (chain link fencing faced with vinyl siding) to cover the holes which were once the front and rear of their business. Pittman said the covering would be temporary because she is anxious to move forward on the building of a new structure at the location.

Pittman said the family's plans to build have been slowed by the uncertainty of the condition of the former city hall building.

"We have been advised by our insurance company and by engineers that we can not build back on this lot because of the condition of our neighbor's building," Pittman said.

"We want to do what is right and put up vinyl panels and cover that hole up. I hate to do this, but I am kind of between a rock and a hard place."

Pittman also said that they welcome anyone to come onto the property if it is necessary to do so to perform repair work on the building next door.

In other action Tuesday, the board tabled action on consideration of a resolution authorizing the issuance, sale and payment of Capital Outlay Notes not to exceed $212,500 pursuant to the informal bid process, for the purchase of a building to be used for the Woodbury Fire Hall.

The town has been in negotiations with the owners of the former Jennings Motors building on the Square to purchase that building for a fire hall. Mayor Patrick said he has been approached by the owners of other local buildings who would like them considered for a fire hall.

The mayor said he will seek sealed bids from all parties interested in selling their buildings to the town. Once those bids are received he will have an engineer inspect the buildings. All buildings submitted will also have to be approved by the state for use as a fire hall.

• City Attorney Dale Peterson, who is the coordinator of the annual Cannon Communities 4th of July Celebration, gave a report on this year’s event. Peterson said an estimated 1,600 people attended. 270 pounds of food were collected for the Cannon County Food Bank. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation raised $929 for research.

A total of $8,825 was raised to fund the event this year. Expenses were $5,649.37. Balance on hand is $8,608.98.

• Mayor Patrick has appointed Vicky Smith to fill the unexpired term of Larry Richards on the Woodbury Housing Authority. Richard’s term expires March 2013.

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Members Opinions:
July 08, 2011 at 7:21pm
Wanting to buy a new fire hall 20 feet down the road while at the same time wanting to raise our taxes 20 cents!!! What's wrong with this picture?!? And the fire hall you already have?!? Mr. Mayor, understand that we citizens are struggling to put food on our tables and clothes on our backs! But, I take it that you don't understand that-or never had to!!
July 08, 2011 at 7:38pm
It is the county considering a property tax increase, not the Town of Woodbury. The Town of Woodbury did not increase property taxes this year, and no increase in property taxes is anticipated if a building is purchased to relocate the fire hall. Residents of Woodbury pay two property taxes, one for the town, and one for the county. Neither the mayor of Woodbury, nor the board of aldermen, have urged the commissioners of Cannon County to raise property taxes.
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