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Mason City taking care of blighted properties

City Council aiming to clean up dilapidated properties

Posted: Feb 12, 2019 10:30 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's something that you may notice in different communities in our area: dilapidated properties that need to be fixed or just plain torn down.

Now the Mason City City Council is looking to change that by using Iowa Code to take control of these properties in order to demolish them.

According to the City, a property at 1526 S. Taft Avenue contains an abandoned home that has been white tagged and uninhabitable for several years. In addition, there is a hole in the roof, windows and doors are boarded up, the front porch is sagging, and stray cats are living inside.

The city's Code Enforcement Officer declared the property unsafe, and referred the case to the City Attorney for further action under Iowa Code 657A.10. It allows the City to argue to District Court about the property's abandonment, and last month, the Court agreed that it's abandoned, allowing the City to take control of the property and proceed with demolition. The City is currently accepting bids to demolish the home and a garage on site.

Nicole Warner lives nearby, and frequently drives by the property.

"It's one of those eyesores in the neighborhood, and it's right on a main drag through town, so if people come into town that way and see that, that's what their impression is of our town. And we don't want to give that off in Mason City."

She appreciates the city taking action.

"It would be even better to have a newer home in the neighborhood versus an empty lot. Anything there would be better than what it is now."

The property is one of at least 7 that are being eyed for demolition and meet the Iowa Code statute.

Staff will pursue further actions, such as sale or donation of the property to a private party, to put it back on the tax roll as soon as possible.

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