CLINTON — The Clinton City Council listened as residents aired complaints regarding their properties being placed on the city’s demolition list.

Alicia Hansen told the council Tuesday that she didn’t understand how her property at 653 Sixth Ave. South ended up on the demo list in the first place. She advised that the house was supposed to be up for demolition on Sept. 28, but after talking with City Attorney Matt Brisch, the family was given two weeks more to complete repairs.

She said that when the home first was inspected, she was told the reason was because of a tenant complaint. Hansen said the tenant only lived in the apartment for two months and the family had to evict her for not paying a utility bill. She said the family received a list of items to repair and then her husband Paul suffered a heart attack. Hansen stated the family then received a paper to sign taking the property off the rental list, which she said they signed because they were told there would be no further inspections and believed “everything would be all right.” She noted the family later was ordered to obtain a demolition permit.

Hansen acknowledged the home was in need of repair and said the family went in and did what they could. She reported she called the city on Sept. 28, thinking the home would be re-inspected and City Building Inspector Mike Harmon told her that the house would not be reinspected as repairs were not complete and the home would be placed on the demolition list.

Hansen said the inside of the house is “not bad.” She commented that by Oct. 12, she was supposed to have the roof, windows, soffit and more repaired, but stated that “everything takes time” and the family believed they would have time to make the repairs. She noted the family recently took out a loan to pay off the house this year and were going to seek a loan for repairs on the home next year. She asked if the house was slated to be torn down, why should the family go through all that work. Hansen said it seemed like Harmon was not interested in whether the repair work was done or not.

Brisch explained the family previously had two hearings before the council Committee of the Whole to make their case for why the home should not be demolished. He recounted that the council placed the home on the demolition list because of the home’s “dangerous nature.” Brisch told Hansen that copies of previous documents and details would be made available

demolished. He recounted that the council placed the home on the demolition list because of the home’s “dangerous nature.” Brisch told Hansen that copies of previous documents and details would be made available to her upon a phone call to his office. Hansen replied that she had the necessary documents, but asked if no one was living in the home for the next year, who the home was endangering. Brisch advised that the time to present an appeal of the demolition had been offered and now had passed.

Jax Kustes, a neighbor and friend of the Hansen family, spoke on their behalf. He said that he doesn’t support the demolition order and stated the family has been working to make the required repairs. Kustes said that he is a former union carpenter and stated that while the house needs repairs, it is “solid” and be believes it can be repaired. He told the council he recently finished a couple of projects and would be able to assist the family in the repairs. He asked the council to give the family nine months to fix the house, noting that at times his home would have been subject to demolition and he drove by at least 25 houses earlier in the day that could be torn down due to needed repairs.

Mayor LaMetta Wynn asked Kustes to call Brisch and make an appointment to discuss the issue further. Kustes said he appreciated her suggestion and noted that the issue is an important one to him as a taxpayer. He invited the council to tour the Hansen home at any time and said he hopes they make the right decision.

Then, Judy Ward and Richard Clark addressed the council regarding their property at 632 Eighth Ave. South. Ward said the couple did everything they were supposed to do on the repair list for the home. She said Harmon and Brisch re-inspected the home last Thursday and she wanted to know what was next for the property. Brisch clarified that the council already placed the home on the demolition list and noted that all the repairs were not completed. Brisch then said that the council meeting was not the forum to discuss the issue.

Ward said that Harmon had lied to them because he allegedly told them repeatedly that if they completed the necessary repairs, they could move back into their home. Brisch advised Ward not to say that a city employee lied to them because hearings were conducted before the city council, the council members looked at the evidence presented and made the decision to place the home on the demolition list.

Ward said she was led to believe that even if the residence was on the demolition list, if the repairs were completed, they could move back in. She again stated that all the repairs had been completed, they spent a lot of money fixing the house and there was nothing wrong with it. Brisch advised he would speak with Ward and Clark after the meeting. Brisch was not available on Wednesday for comment regarding what was discussed following the council meeting.