The City of Grand Forks will go ahead with tearing down a heritage home despite pleas from the owner for a revised timeline to take it down himself.
Rick Cutler, who lives in Nelson, asked council to allow him to demolish 7136 3rd Street by December with work starting in June.
But council didn’t budge and Mayor Everett Baker didn’t mince words.
“Personally, I want it gone. It’s been a thorn in our flesh. Council has dealt with this. (You) cannot say we did not give him, we have given him plenty of opportunity. The previous mayor gave him plenty of opportunity,” Baker said.
Council voted unanimously last week to proceed with the remedial action plan started in December.
“I’m sorry, this building has to go. It’s not fair to the taxpayers that are his neighbours. We had given him ample opportunity, I’m not prepared quite frankly to give him any more,” Coun. Christine Thompson added.
During Cutler’s presentation, some on council bristled at the accusation that it was the “city’s fault” for the accelerated deterioration of the home due to blasting for the flood walls on the Kettle River and that the city was “overreaching” in its authority.
“You are completely out of line by saying that the city’s flood prevention works have caused your house to falter. Anybody can look at the house and see that a stiff breeze could probably take it down quicker than you do,” Coun. David Mark said.
The city believes tear down could happen as early as late April once the city has reasonably tried to contact members of the trust associated with the property, completed a hazardous materials assessment and done the hiring of someone to demolish it.
The demolition cost, which will be billed back to Cutler through his taxes, could vary based on how different firms may tackle the home. They would either salvage material, bulldoze the entire lot or do a combination of both. Previously estimates peg the work at $50,000.