BY DAVID FISHER
GREENFIELD (July 14) — The Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen considered several recommendations concerning the condemnation of local properties during its regular monthly meeting on July 14.
Fire Chief Bob Dudley, who also serves as Greenfield’s codes enforcement officer, requested releases on properties under consideration to be condemned, due to progress made on these lots. This includes a burned residence on Delmar Street, owned by Catherine Sawyers, where all work is complete; a property owned by Ruby Hutcherson at 314 East Main Street and a residence on Kimery Store Road owned by Barbara Smith. A motion to remove all three properties from the list under consideration to be condemned and demolished for code violations passed 8-0.
Dudley said he has received complaints every day concerning a house on Hwy. 45 South, owned by Eva Capps that burned in December 2019.
“I gave them a 120-day extension and it’s time something was done,” he said.
Additionally, he suggested city funds be utilized to raze a house on East Main Street owned by Kara Jackson. City Attorney Beau Pemberton recommended initiating condemnation proceedings on these two properties by drafting condemnation petitions and citing them to appear before the next condemnation board. This involves moving forward with formal condemnation proceedings so the city can take possession of these properties and clean them up.
Dudley stated he received a request for a 30-day extension on Gary Jack’s house on Chester Street. “He lacks about a week or week and a half having the interior completed and asks it be extended to August 15,” he said.
Jim Shelton on East Main Street, who is repairing the front and back of the property, is asking for an additional 90 days. “He is working on his property and I’d like to give him a 90-day extension,’ Dudley said.
“Teresa Bonilla, who owns property at 214 Acklen St., has the house down and lacks about one full day of cleaning up,” Dudley said. “I’d like to give her a 30-day notice and have her come before the condemnation board after that time.”
According to Dudley, some progress has been made on Charles High’s house at 510 Federal St. “I was contacted by Mr. High today for the first time. They have cleaned up the house and yard and moved old vehicles. They have made an effort to do something, but, however, repairs to the structure have not started. The condemnation board is going to meet and talk about this. I’d like for us to meet with the condemnation board before this. They are in the process of trying to sell it.”
The board approved all of Dudley’s recommendations by unanimous vote.
Additionally, Pemberton mentioned the old factory building on 512 Broad St., owned by Mike Davidson, is listed in the Chancery Court 2017 tax sale in October. He noted the city may buy it back, providing the county does not obtain it.
Pemberton explained the county has a lien on the property for failure to pay county property taxes. If the county gains possession of the property, the city can contact them to have the building demolished and cleaned up.
The Greenfield Board is continuing to cite owners of dilapidated properties for code violations, in an effort to make the city more attractive. In addition to improving the value of neighboring properties, it also makes the town more attractive to those considering moving into the area, and to prospective businesses and industries.
BY DAVID FISHER