CLINTON — The owner of a building damaged by a severe summer storm could be assessed for cleanup costs incurred by the city as the building was determined a danger to public safety.

The Clinton City Council tonight could vote to assess the costs of the partial demolition and debris removal from the building that housed Walt’s Tavern at 319 N. Fourth St. The building suffered exterior and structural damage from a severe storm that passed through Clinton on July 4. The following morning, the city deemed the building an immediate danger to the public and ordered a portion of the structure demolished and removed.

The city’s Streets Department blocked off the sidewalk and a portion of North Fourth Street to protect passersby in case debris fell from the building. Traffic was re-routed around the area for several days until the danger was abated. City Attorney Matt Brisch said the costs incurred by the city totaled an estimated $45,000. If approved, the resolution would assess the costs to the building owner, Bill Bartels, and would be similar to a property tax or lien. It is unknown if the damage to the building is covered by an insurance policy.

Later in the agenda, the council could take action on a resolution to place a home at 653 Sixth Ave. South on the city’s demolition list on Sept. 28.

Paul Meeks and David Hansen, sons of property owner Paul Hansen Jr., addressed the Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole on Aug. 14 and appealed the demolition order, asking the committee for more time to fix the items listed in Building Inspector Mike Harmon’s report following a rental inspection on April 24. The committee voted to continue the discussion at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Aug. 28.

At that meeting, Harmon said he performed a re-inspection of the home the previous day and found several items had not been repaired. A letter ordering the Hansen family to demolish the house by Sept. 28 was issued.

A memorandum detailing facts and findings regarding the residence has been presented to the council. According to the document, the council finds the egress to the house is unsafe, portions of the house are likely to fail or collapse, the house is a haven for rodents and it is unfit for human habitation and a public nuisance. Another re-inspection of the property will take place on Sept. 28. If the house is not repaired or demolished at that time, the city will place the house on the demolition list and begin the process of contracting the demolition. If demolished by a contractor, the costs would be assessed to the property owner.

This Week's Circulars