Thursday, January 19, 2017

Top Falls Off Hole in the Wall Building in Grant City

The top fell off the former Hole in the Wall Building in Grant City Saturday afternoon; the city temporarily closed Front Street to get the debris removed. The collapse occurred at around 4 pm that day. Under city ordinances, owners have 10 days to clean up such buildings.

The city appointed Ben Abplanalp to the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments board.

Economic Developer Gene Auten reported that he is trying to restore the county's Enhanced Enterprise Zone status, which gives tax breaks to businesses which locate into underserved areas and create new jobs. The city gave Auten the OK to involve it. He noted that the county has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state, but that its residents usually have to go to other communities in order to find employment.

Catherine Morgan of Albany Community Development addressed the Grant City Council about Albany's efforts to clean up abandoned homes and buildings. They have been in existence since 1994; in 2012, Albany Community Development took on the task of demolishing abandoned buildings. Since then, they have successfully demolished 17 properties, and other property owners demolished their own unsafe/abandoned structures as a result of their efforts. The City of Albany has a line item for demolition; Albany Community Development can do things that cities can't, since they are not a governmental entity. They are non-profit, which means that donations are tax-deductible. They have successfully sold all but two of the demolished properties. She said the typical cost of demolishing a two-story home was around $12,000. She said their biggest problem was with foreclosed properties as well as out of town owners. There is CDBG money available for demolition; however, it requires the cooperation of property owners, which is sometimes difficult to get. The city will add a line item in the budget for demolition purposes.

Auten reported that he had gotten more pictures for Great Northwest Days in Jefferson City.

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that city crews were dealing with muddy roads following the recent thaw and that he was planning to set up the new curbside recycling plan. A van from Rolling Hills was in Grant City Thursday.

The council will have a special meeting on January 26th at 5:30 to approve the budget. The council will have its next regular meeting on February 21st at 7 pm; this is rescheduled from its normal day.

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