Galesville city council approves bid process to demolish Fifth Street home

After no response was received from the owner of a decaying home at 16822 S. Fifth St. in Galesville, the building appears to be on borrowed time.

The Galesville city council on Thursday approved razing the home with a 5-0 vote. Councilor Dave Carlson was not at the open session portion of the meeting.

A raze order was approved by the council and served to the owner, based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on March 20 after the city building inspector examined the building and decided it would require more than 50 percent of the building’s worth to repair, 

The owner had until April 13 to reply to the order with how they planned to address the issue. 

No response was received from the property owner, leaving the city with two options on Thursday, according to attorney Bruce Hart:

• The city could collect bids to demolish the building.

• The city could seek court approval for razing the building, which would cost more money but offer more legal protection to the city.

Mayor Tom Thatcher referenced two other raze orders in his time on the council, saying both times the council moved forward with the first option to demolish without the court document.

“It has been a long, ongoing issue, something that I think the city should take care of. Whether the city wants to do it with or without a court order, either way is legally fine,” Hart advised the council.

Costs associated with the demolition would be billed to the property owner after the building is demolished or fall on the next owner of the property if it is later sold.

“I do think it needs to go down. It is a hazard,” council member Jesse Swing said.


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