City to apply for grant to assist in demolishing blighted houses - Mountain Grove News-Journal : News

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City to apply for grant to assist in demolishing blighted houses

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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 2:53 pm

The Mountain Grove Board of Aldermen heard a report from Fire Chief Mark Bushong on a grant application to assist with the demolition of blighted houses.

Bushong informed the Board that the city would hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the city hall to discuss the city’s submission of an application for a Community Development Block Grant.

According to the public hearing notice, “the City is proposing to demolish 13 blighted residences in Mountain Grove. Cost estimates are $5,680 to $14,685 per residence. Using that estimation, the project cost is estimated at $162,400. The City proposes to contribute $16,000 in cash match and $15,400 in-kind labor by city crews and will be asking property owners to contribute $500 per structure as well as filing a grant application requesting funding from  CDBG for $125,000. The project, if funded, will benefit at least 51 percent low/moderate income persons.“

Bushong explained that there would be no tax lien put on the property. If the property owners participate in the program, the house will be torn down. There will be no foundation left, and the water and sewer will be capped off. The property owner can then rebuild or it could be sold.

The Board also approved the second reading of an ordinance changing the City Council meeting time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. The change goes into effect on April 5.

The city was recognized by the Tri-County Veterans Association for the designation of a Purple Heart City.

The Board also heard concerns from Zena Atchison about the use of BB guns, which she said struck her property.  She indicated that there did not appear any financial damage, but she was concerned about potential damage and danger to herself.

She stated that after an incident she contacted the Mountain Grove Police Department.

Mountain Grove Assistant Police Chief Danny Bledsoe indicated that the parents of the children who used the BB gun did bring the children to Mrs. Atchison to apologize.

Mrs. Atchison wanted to know her rights to set up game cameras to serve as her eyes. She was assured that she could set up the cameras.

“I feel for you and your problems you are having, but on one incident I feel like we’d be overreacting by trying to take BB guns away on one incident,” Mayor Delbert Crewse stated.

“I have to stand with the rest, and BB guns have been around, and this is one incident...but sitting in your shoes, I think you have done the right thing by putting up the cameras. You have the right to have them, and the minute something happened again be back on the phone to the police...and then I might have to consider the next step,” Alderman Sherri Unger stated.

Bledsoe also urged her to contact the police if she had any problems.

“If it continues giving a couple hundred dollars bill for property damage to the parents, may open their eyes and they’d say let’s get rid of the BB guns,” Alderman Michael Stearnes suggested.

Atchison stated that she agreed that children need to know how to shoot guns, but they need to learn the proper way.

Bledsoe pointed out that she has every right to feel safe inside her home.

“Mrs. Atchison you shouldn’t feel bad at all if they do this again, don’t feel bad at all about contacting the police. I’d say the second time Danny (Danny Bledsoe) it’s time to go to juvenile with it,” the mayor stated.

“We will at least forward a report to them,” Bledsoe said.

City Administrator Rick Outersky asked for permission to seek bids for 302 N. St., which is owned by the city, after the city tore down a building. The aldermen approved seeking bids.

Outersky was asked what the property is worth.

“It’s a liability to us. All it’s worth to us is mowing it and carrying liability insurance on it. Whatever we can get out of it is just that much more of our bill we’re getting back,” he responded.

The Board also agreed to proceed with a request to vacate an unused  alleyway between Arvest Bank and Lucky 7. Outersky pointed out that all utility easements would remain in place.

Dog and Cat tags

The City of Mountain Grove 2016 Dog and Cat tags will be available for purchase at city hall beginning March 1.

The city dog and cat licenses are due March 31, 2016. The animals current certificate of rabies vaccination must be obtained and brought to the City Collector’s office before a license can be issued. The license is $3. After March 31 a $2 late fee will be applied.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Persons with questions can call Carmen at 926-4162.