RDA sets sights on Linwood Street structure

The City of Warren Redevelopment Authority is moving ahead down a path that could result in in the demolition of a derelict property on Linwood St.

Debra Selan, the owner of the property adjacent to the problem property, gave a history of the situation.

“Twenty years this has been going on,” she said, noting that the a young couple purchased it, split up and moved out. Then pipes burst. She told the RDA that possums and cats have lived in the home and that the roof has collapsed over the kitchen.

“I don’t think it’s salvageable,” she said. “It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

She added that the current owner is deceased and said she is willing to “assume the responsibility” of the parcel because “it definitely is a concern for everyone.”

However, she noted she was unable to assume the responsibility to demolish and would be willing to purchase the empty lot if the structure were first demolished.

“We would work with you,” she added.

Code Official Ken Hinton noted that the property is currently in the county repository and is “definitely a teardown.”

He noted that city Department of Public Works crews could perform the demolition.

Terry Williams, director of codes, permitting and recreation services for the city, said that the estate attempted to give the property to the city but that several thousand dollars in back taxes were attached. Those aren’t an issue now that the property is entirely through the tax sale process.

She speculated that the total cost for the RDA to purchase the property and demolish at less than $2,000.

RDA member Matthew Schlotzhauer called it a “good opportunity to repurpose land” while Authority member Chuck Gray said the RDA should “move it forward.”

The RDA subsequently approved a motion to place a bid on the property.

“Hopefully, we can get this taken care of,” RDA Chair David Cantrell said.