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City looks to adopt policy on abandoned homes

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By Molly Haines

Where a home once stood in Monterey now lies a pile of rubble on abandoned property, and Monterey Mayor Dennis Atha is determined to clean up the mess.

The Owen County Fiscal Court and Atha are currently working together on an interlocal agreement, which would enforce Owen County’s nuisance ordinance within the City of Monterey.

The property became abandoned after a fire left the home in shambles. The property is located at 365 Taylor Street in Moterey.

Atha, who attempted to get in touch with the owner of the property numerous times, said something must be done.

“It’s a real eyesore,” Atha said. “It’s a pile of rubble at the end of a dead-end street; it looks awful and I’m exhausted with it. I want it gone.”

Atha came before the fiscal court at the April 14 meeting to propose the idea. Once an agreement is drawn up by County Attorney Charles Carter and the fiscal court approves it, then the county’s nuisance ordinance can be enforced. The city of Monterey will have the right to go in and clean up the property.

Atha said he feels like it should be done for the progress of Monterey.

“I’d like to have this done for the health and welfare of the people of Monterey,” Atha said. “Anything to better our city and move forward in a positive direction.”

The issue will be brought back to the table for the May 12 fiscal court meeting and could be approved then.

Also, at the April 14 meeting, the fiscal court approved a $25 increase for those working at the different precincts on election day. They will now receive $100 instead of $75.

The fiscal court is taking bids from different companies to clean up the second floor of the Owen County Sherriff’s Office in an effort to keep employees safe from what is believed to be asbestos.

A budget workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the courthouse. The workshop will be open to the public.