Building faces condemnation, demolition

Published 5:17 pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, will consider an ordinance to condemn as unsafe and demolish the structure at 221 W. Fifth St.

A public hearing on the issue will be conducted by the council at 6 p.m. Monday.

If the council condemns the building, it may award a $4,300 contract to demolish the building to B.E. Singleton & Sons.

The owner of the structure has been given a reasonable opportunity to bring the building into compliance with the city’s minimum housing standards and the state’s building code, according to a city document.

If the city uses city money to pay for demolishing the building, a lien will be placed against the real property. The lien will have to be satisfied if and when the property is sold. The owner of the property is Carrie E. Collins.

In recent years, the city has become more aggressive in dealing with structures that do not meet the minimum housing code and/or building codes.

Several years ago, the city adopted an ordinance designed to prevent property owners, particularly owners of significant historic properties, from allowing their properties to essentially be demolished by neglect.

Last year, the City Council approved a $14,700 contract to demolish the house at 507 W. Second St. That decision came after the city tried not once, but twice, to sell the house to an entity that would restore it.
In early 2011, in an effort to save the house, the City Council voted to sell that house to Reilly Software for $3,500. Reilly Software intended to restore and renovate the house. Then, the dismal economy caught up with the company. Because Reilly Software could not afford to buy the house, the city was forced to once again seek a buyer for the house by way of the upset bid process. That did not work out, either.
The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “Government” then “City Council” heading, then click “Meeting Agendas” on the menu to the right. Then click on the date for the appropriate agenda.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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