By BOB SHRALUKA
“Decatur’s Board of Works and Safety has cut an Ossian man some slack …,” a mid-August story here said.
It worked, with a once-fouled property getting cleaned up!
It’s not all “good,” though, with another city property said to be rotting away.
The success story deals with Donald Dale (photo), an Ossian man whose rental property at 1103 Angus Drive needed cleaned up. Summoned to a board of works meeting in August, Dale said he was at first unaware of the problems, then unable to get his renters to do anything about it.
City-issued fines had already amounted to around $6,000. Dale told the board that he had evicted the renters and asked for a break if he cleaned up the property. The fines would be cut in half if he carried through, Dale was told.
At the board’s latest meeting, Building/Zoning Superintendent Curt Witte reported that Dale “has done everything we told him to do.” So the fine was reduced.
It’s a different story with an unoccupied home at 1034 Parkview Drive.
Originally scheduled to be taken down as part of the city’s flood buyout program, the home ended up with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) after the homeowner died, scuttling the buyout procedure.
Condemned for nearly a year, the structure is currently “just sitting there, rotting,” Witte said, noting that attempts to connect with the USDA have brought no response.
After some discussion, it was decided to reach out to the USDA again and inform the federal agency that before long the property is going to be assessed fines of $100 a day if there is no cleanup.