Plymouth Building Commissioner, Dennis Manuwal appeared before the Board of Public Works and Safety Monday evening to discuss a safety issue at 222 West LaPorte Street.  The property is owned by Jerry Haeck and is an apartment building.

The building commissioner told the Board of Works & Safety he sent an unsafe building order to the owner on February 1st, but he refused the letter, and it was returned on February 23rd.  The letter gave him 30 days to comply, which didn’t happen.  Haeck did call the building commissioner to see what he wanted and was told of the issue and sent an email with 60 days to fix the issue but that hasn’t happened.

The concrete front porch on that residential structure is caving in and is unsafe for the residents living there.   

City Attorney Jeff Houin said there are two options, the building commissioner can hire someone to complete the work and bill the owner for the work.  If the city is not reimbursed by the owner for the work completed a lien would be placed on the property.  The second option allows the Board of Public Works and Safety to impose a fine of up to $2,500 for non-compliance with the order which has already been issued. If the work still isn’t completed, every 90 days the board can increase the fine by an additional $1,000. 

The Building Commissioner asked the Board of Public Works and Safety to impose the $2,500 fine but defer the fine for a period of 30 days so that if the owner complies within those 30 days the fine would be waived.  If no compliance happens in those 30 days the fine would automatically go into effect against the property.

Attorney Houin said during that time or after that time, the Building Commissioner still has the option to hire a contractor to do the work required. 

Councilman Don Ecker asked if the work needed to be completed in the 30 days and the city attorney said it’s up to the board.  He also asked how it came to the building commissioner’s attention and Manuwal said he received numerous complaints on the property.

Councilman Dave Morrow asked if there was an immediate danger to the tenants, emergency responders, or even the mailman and Manuwal said he wasn’t sure how bad the issue is.

Councilwoman Shiloh Milner said it appears to be a serious issue and the owner is not working with the city to fix the danger.

Councilman Don Ecker made the motion to implement the $2,500 fine but defer the fine for 30 days to allow the owner time to comply with the order.  If the owner doesn’t comply the fine will be in place and can be added to every 90 days until action is taken.  The Board of Public Works and Safety unanimously approved the motion.