From comments made by the Altus City Council Tuesday evening, it seems that they are growing frustrated with the properties that are appearing before them requesting removal of the Order of Demolition and Notice of Dilapidation and Lien.
“I don’t want us to be managing these properties,” said Councilman Riffle.
Councilman Martin, raised the question, “Do you know why we do this?”, to Joe G. De La Rosa, property owner of 208 S. Lee Street, who stood before Council to appeal the demolition order against his property.
“It’s not to pick on Mr. De La Rosa, I personally think it’s a cool looking house, but we do this to protect the other property owners adjacent to it, and those who have to drive pass it,” continued Councilman Martin.
Having houses and buildings throughout any town that are not up-to code and are eye-sores will drive people away and will have a negative effect on the value of the surrounding properties. This is something the Planning Department works to prevent from happening in Altus. The Planning Department, sends adequate notices to the owners as required, works with the owners and gives them an opportunity to make significant improvements, bringing the property back to code and saving it from being demolished.
City Council is being faced with making the decision to accept or deny the owner’s appeals or to accept contingent upon the owner meeting the stipulations and time-lines set by Council. According to the Councilmen this is something they’d rather not have to do and definitely not so frequently. Council would like to see property owner’s take more pride in their properties and their community, do what’s necessary to keep the homes and buildings to code and eliminate having to go through the appeal process.
Mr. De La Rosa, has been granted the opportunity by Council to complete a Structure Rehabilitation Plan to present at the next Council meeting at which time a decision will be made.
Concerning the property at 709 S. Benson, Barbara Burleson, Altus City Planning Director, gave the Council a 60 day review as requested at the May 5, Council meeting. It was determined that very little progress has been made on the property, however; the property owner has 60 more days before Council will take a new vote and make any new decisions.
In other AMA and Council matters on the agendas, Resolution No. 2015-30 to allow the AMA to add the Wise Ceiling Insulation Rebate Program to the City’s Rebate Program was approved. Homeowners must me Altus Power customers. Also, the AMA approved the awarding of bid #17600 to Unifirst Corporation of Amarillo, TX, to lease uniforms for the Electric Department and Metering Services, for $8,220.68, and allow the City Manager to sign the Lease Agreement. This is for fire retardant uniforms that will being the department to 100 percent compliance.
Approval was given by City Council to accept the Dedication Deed from Roger T. Kerr, Administrator of the Estate of Robert Mark Kerr, deceased (owner), of Altus for the remainder (West half) of a previously Dedicated Detention Pond, for the Northridge Subdivision, as well as the Dedication Deed for a dedicated street that connects Cotton Tail Lane and Concord Lane together.
Council accepted the Altus City Planning Commission (ACPC) recommendation concerning the Final Plat for the Hunter Pointe XI Addition.
In conclusion of the City Council meeting, Council also approved Ordinance No. 2015-11, adding Section 25-4.5 “Truck Fee” to the Altus Code 1980, adding monthly to the regular garbage and trash fees charged to customers under Section 25-4, a fee of $2 per residence, per dumpster, in order to fund at least every other year, the purchase of a new sideloader.
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