City buys ‘problem property’Published 10:35am Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Updated 10:56am Tuesday, December 4, 2012
After a property evaluation revealed that a house on West Bancroft Avenue would cost $50,000 to $60,000 to bring up to housing standards, the Fergus Falls City Council made the rare decision to purchase the property with the intent to demolish the house this summer.
The property at 225 West Bancroft Ave. has been a “problem property” for more than 20 years, and the house has now been considered a hazardous building, said community development director Gordon Hydukovich.
The homeowner agreed to sell the property to the city for $15,000, and demolition will cost $5,000 to $6,000. The purchase agreement will give the current owner salvage rights prior to June 1, but after that time, anything remaining will be demolished.
This is not a typical situation, but council members agreed this is an extreme situation, and something needs to be done.
City attorney Rolf Nycklemoe explained the alternative to purchasing the property would be to go through an extensive legal process that would take years. Hydukovich and Nycklemoe recommended taking more immediate action and the council agreed.