PIERCETON — Pierceton Council is in the midst of discussing options to deal with unsafe buildings within the town.
Town Marshal Tim Sammons came to the meeting Monday, March 13, prepared with a list of seven houses and structures that were deemed unsafe. Some of these properties have recurring trespassing issues, while others are simply too dangerous to not deal with.
Pierceton’s current ordinance is dated back to 1996 and is clearly outdated. The current fine for keeping an unsafe building is a mere $25.
Pam Kennedy with North Central Indiana Housing was present to discuss affordable housing.
Kennedy informed the board that the town of Pierceton has $19,550 available in an account kept by North Central Housing to spend on affordable housing. Because it can be used for any aspect of affordable housing, it can be used to demolish condemned buildings. Kennedy also informed the board that if a house is condemned, the family goes to the top of the list for Section 8 housing rental assistance.
Having helped nearby cities write unsafe building ordinances, she offered some input to the board and city attorney Tammy Keirn. One of her recommendations was hiring a hearing officer to deal with violations. The officer will do the ordering, and the town will be able to board up condemned homes with the housing fund and then bill the homeowner.
“All these processes are in place already in different towns,” stated Kennedy.
The hearing officer will place fines upward of $2,500 every 30 days as a lien on the house. Eventually the officer can order the building demolished or give ownership to the city to handle how they wish.
While no ordinance was passed, President Tom Barker hopes to have something ready within 30 to 60 days.
In other business:
- Sammons has requested an updated quote on body cams for the police force.
- Steve Snyder was back with a resolution for Shiloh Industries. A public hearing was held at the meeting and the resolution for the $11.5 million tax abatement was approved. This will result in an additional 73 jobs at $39,840 a year for the business.
- Kennedy presented applications for a $10,000 match for Section 8 housing.