WALKER -- After a process that took a full year, the Walker City Council condemned an empty house at 13705 Perkins Lane at its meeting Monday.
The house, owned by George Perkins Jr., has appeared on the council agenda several times with action being tabled for various reasons.
The issue was tabled in August when Mayor Jimmy Watson reported the city could not contact Perkins about the hearing. In July, Watson recommended any action be tabled because City Attorney Bobby King was not able to attend the council meeting.
“Is Mr. Perkins here?” Watson announced when the agenda item came up.
No one answered.
“I know it is a tough time because it is somebody’s property,” Watson said. The mayor added that when he came to work for the city as a building official almost 15 years ago, the house was vacant then.
“We think we need to tear it down and clean it up,” Watson said.
The council voted 5-0 to condemn the house.
A report submitted at Monday’s meeting by building official Nancy Kimble said the house violated the city code on dangerous structures and she recommended the house be removed and/or demolished.
Kimble’s report to the council said on Aug. 19 an inspection of the house was made.
The report said the deterioration rate was: inside walls, 90 percent; outside walls and flooring, 85 percent; floor joists, 75 percent; rafters and ceiling joists, 60 percent; floor sills and roofing, 40 percent; and pillars, 25 percent.
Severe termite damage also was found, the report said.
City Attorney Bobby King said part of the condemnation proceedings was giving notice to Perkins and to provide him with a chance to appear before the council.
The first notice went out to Perkins in August 2018, King said, that the property was “potentially uninhabitable.”
Other notices were sent out, King said.
“He has been served and been made aware of this proceeding,” he said.
Last year when the city first considered condemning the house, Watson said he met with Perkins, who asked for time to make repairs. A 180-day remodeling permit was issued in October 2018, Kimble said, and could have been extended if a “good faith” effort had been made to make repairs.
“There was no good faith,” Kimble said, and in June, a letter was sent to Perkins telling him action was needed on the house.
The building official said she received no correspondence from Perkins.
The mayor said there is money in the budget to demolish the house, but the city will first give Perkins an opportunity to tear it down. If he takes no action, the city will tear it down and send him a bill, Watson said. If the bill is not paid, a lien will be filed on the property.