House moving discussion tabled

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The Washington City Council tabled discussion on how to proceed with the removal of a house at 208 E. Jefferson St. as part of the city?s infrastructure plan to allow one of the council members time to pursue another possibility.

During Tuesday?s regular meeting, council members had begun discussing just letting bids to have the house demolished to make way for the work needed to be done on the city?s sewer lines. After council member Brendan DeLong said that he thought the best course of action would be to just demolish the building at this point, council member Steve Gault asked to hold off on a decision regarding the house until the next regular meeting.

?I have something I need to do first,? Gault said.

The council unanimously approved tabling the issue until the next meeting.

During the Oct. 17 meeting, the council had set the hearing and authorized seeking bids on the moving of the house, as well as the potential sale of a lot at 415 W. Madison as a possible destination for the house. In addition to the notice, the city sent bid documents to 25 area contractors, only to receive no bids on the house. City administrator Brent Hinson said he was not surprised that the city only received one inquiry regarding the house and said that he was not sure about the prospects of rebidding the house moving. He said it was up to the council to decide what to do with the house.

Mayor Sandra Johnson asked about the timeline when the East Jefferson Street property needed to be vacant. Hinson said the property needed to be clear for an interceptor reroute that cuts through the property by March 1, 2018. Johnson asked DeLong about how tabling the issue would impact finding a contractor for a possible demolition of the house.

?It depends on the contractor,? DeLong said. ?I assume if you get a contractor in there to bid they would want to do it this winter. It is good winter work.?

Council member Jaron Rosien said if a possibility to use the house exists, the council needs to do its due diligence. He also said that if possibilities exhaust themselves, the city needs to take action and demolish the house.

Johnson asked that agenda items for the Dec. 5 meeting be to make the outcome of the disposal of the property known and to have a public hearing to demolish the house. Demolition bids would be considered during the Dec. 19 meeting.

The council held a public hearing on the sale of the property during the meeting, only to have no comments on the house.