The Marshall County Unsafe Building Board met January 27th in the County Building for their first meeting of 2022. The board elected officers with Trend Weldy President, Bill Cleavenger Vice President and Keith Hammonds as Secretary. Janette Surrisi is the board’s attorney.
Marshall County Building Inspector Steve Howard updated members on four cases. He said the Larry Boetsma property at 590-600 West Jefferson Street in Culver has been cleaned up although he still needs to repair the front of the building but with the winter weather, he would complete the work in early spring. The Building Inspector was agreeable since there is a fence up across the front of the building so there is no access.
Board member Bill Cleaverger asked about the building to the left that has a hole in the side of it. The Building Inspector said he hasn’t had any complaints on it and the building is secure with locked doors. There was some question if the building was structurally sound, and the attorney said if the property owner doesn’t let you in and you believe there is an issue then you would have to obtain an inspection warrant. She warned the committee that unsightly and unsafe are two different issues.
The second case was Roger Moynaham at 4454 West Shore Drive in Bremen. The County Building Commissioner said he sent a letter and requested he clean up the premises. He removed the board and cut the bushes from the trees so it looks livable at this time, but it is not inhabited at this time. The structure is sound, and the debris has been removed.
The third case update was for Howard Schillaci at 15910 Olive Trail in Plymouth. A letter was sent in August and Mr. Schillaci came into the office in September and said he wanted to salvage wood from the inside of the building and clean it up. Howard said, “I took him at his word. I let it go for a couple of months and he hasn’t done anything.” Another letter was sent tell Mr. Schillaci the county is going to pursue demolition of the building because it is very unsafe and there is evidence that people are getting into the structure.
The attorney said they have it set for the March meeting to allow him to show up at the Unsafe Building Meeting and plead his case. The board can then affirm the order or modify the order. The Building Inspector said there is a secondary area they haven’t investigated yet on the property that has structures.
The final case was JoAnn Foster at 15171 12th Road in Plymouth. Steve Howard said Ms. Forster lives in the Chesterton area and was working with him on cleaning up debris and mowing but a tree fell on the mobile home, and it can’t be repaired so it has to be removed. She is to appear at the March meeting and explain how she will remedy the issue.
A neighbor, Barbara Blackman said no one has lived in the property for decades and it’s been an eyesore for a very long time. Her concern is that Ms. Foster might try and bring in something else.
The County Health Department would require a septic inspection before anything could be permitted on the property.