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Estherville Council handles housing tasks

Grant sought; house to be sold

November 5, 2012
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

Estherville's continuing task to keep the number of dilapidated houses to a minimum continued at Monday's council meeting.

The council authorized the city attorney to proceed with the steps necessary to eliminate the minimum housing code violation at 1228 Second Avenue South. While the property is currently occupied, the utilities have been shut off for six months which means the structure does not meet the minimum standards required by the code. Connection to an approved water and electric systems and a heating source would bring the property into compliance.

Meanwhile the property at 315 Seventh Ave. N. was awarded to the city following court action.

Council had the option of selling the property or demolishing the house at the city's cost and then selling the lot.

Council elected to first try to sell the house on the condition that the buyer demolishes the house.

Councilman Dave Seylar, who inspected the house, said the inside is gutted "back to the studs" and that it wouldn't be worth the money for anyone to fix it up enough to bring into compliance with the city's minimum housing code.

The third housing-related action involved the council setting a public hearing on an application to the Housing Fund Grant Program.

The city has applied in previous years, but has not been approved.

The grant application to the Iowa Department of Economic seeks $314,500 from the Iowa Department of economic Development. The city's requirement is to provide $20,000 in local match.

The grant will be used to help rehabilitate 10 owner-occupied housing units in a target area bound on the north by 10th Avenue North, on the east by the east side of North Sixth Street, on the south by Central Avenue and on the west by the Des Moines River.

The need for the proposed project was identified based on results from the windshield survey and that the city has over 20 pre-applications on file. The funds will benefit low-to-moderate income households.

The public hearing regarding this project will be at 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 19.



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