The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

August 27, 2012

Wilson building deemed ‘not safe’

Building declared public health hazard as result of serious mold condition

CLINTON — The Wilson building has been declared unfit for human habitation by the city of Clinton’s Building and Neighborhood Services Department due to a serious mold condition.

A warning posted outside of the door states the building, located at 217 Fifth Ave. South, is a public health hazard due to mold and must be vacated immediately.  The notice, as well as a letter from BNS Official Mike Harmon to property owner William S. Twyford, is dated Aug. 22.  

“The building is declared a nuisance and dangerous building according to Chapter 90, Chapter 154 and Chapter 145 of the ordinances of the City of Clinton,” the letter states. “No person  shall enter this except to inspect or repair the hazardous condition.”

The mold condition in the nearly century old Wilson Building stretches from the first to the top floor,  said Ted Wilk, who manages the Catholic radio station KXJX-FM 92.5 out of the fourth floor and operates an auction showroom on the first floor.

Harmon was not available for comment on the severity of the mold condition.

The World Health Organization links mold to respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections and exacerbation of asthma as well as an increased risk of rare conditions that cause inflammation of the lungs and chronic sinusitis.

Wilk said he was informed Friday that although the first floor showroom does not have mold, he has 30 days to vacate the building in order for crews to get to the basement, which also is infested with mold.  

He was not shocked to hear the building was declared a health hazard.

 “Nothing surprises me about that building anymore,” Wilk said.

The radio station operates by satellite and is only inspected by staff once a month. They will also need to vacate because of the mold and are looking for a new space entirely.

The station has been in the Wilson building for nine years, two to three of which, Wilk said, the building has been otherwise abandoned.

Other organizations and businesses, such as an antique store and psychiatrist’s office, used space in the building but are no longer there.

The only other operations using the building are the companies leasing the cellular towers. The building has no heat, water and no elevator use, Wilk said.

The building is owned by Twyford, of Bailey, Colo., according to online property tax documents. Twyford also runs the online real estate company, Investors Edge University.

Online property tax documents also show the property is designated as a tax sale. The tax sale would give an interested party the opportunity to purchase the unpaid taxes and later the deed to the property.

While the building has a local manager, Wilk said rent for the radio station and auction showroom are being sent directly to the IRS.

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