Vacant lots for sale with the majority of bids starting at $1K
The City of Olney has 37 vacant lots for sale, and many of them may be purchased for as little as $1,000. City administrator Neal Welch said the lots are a good investment for people who may want to start a garden or build a house, but there are a few exceptions to the pricing.
“If there is a structure on the empty lot, the city council may want more money for the lot, such as the lot behind Allsups, which has a metal garage with concrete floors. It is for sale, but it will be several thousand dollars because of the structure that is on it that’s viable,” Welch said.
Although the City is getting bids, they have not met their threshold, which is why they are taking steps to publicize the list of the available lots. This list currently includes the following properties: 411 ½ E. Elm, 801 N. Ave. C, W. Edwards, 314 S. Ave. F, 905 S. Ave. C, 106 W. Bloodworth, 308 S. Ave. F, 203 E. York, 402 N. Ave. F, 200 W. Gray, 410 W. Main, 805 N. Ave. F, 1017 W. Elm, 105 E. Church, 1105 S. Ave. C, 103 W. Grove, 106 S. Ave. H, 109 E. Bloodworth, 205 E. Cherry, 704 N. Ave. C, 714 N. Ave. D, 301 W. Elm, 207 E. Cherry, 107 E. Bloodworth, 304 S. Ave. D, 712 N. Ave. D, 1011 W. Elm, 512 N. Ave. C, 615 N. Grand Ave. 613 N. Grand Ave. 802 N. Ave. F, 507 N. Grand, 602 S Ave. B, 404 S. Ave. F, 106 S. Ave. F, 108 E. Grove, 204 S. Ave. G.
The City has decided to sell these lots to reduce expenses. Welch said, “The lots are always available for salem and the City would like to sell them to reduce expenses.”
The proceeds from the lot sales will go to the City, and according to City secretary Tim Houston, the net proceeds depends on how long the property has been on their books and what the maintenance fees are. “We are the trustee of the property, but the City, the hospital, the school and Young County split the proceeds less the maintenance costs. Anything within the City, we are charged for keeping up. So if we incur maintenance fees, it comes off the top of what someone bids,” Houston said.
The sale of the vacant lots is part of the code enforcement initiative to clean up the town.
“Our goal with Code Enforcement is to clean up some areas that have fallen into disrepair to help the safety and appearance of the city. There are a lot of houses that have deteriorated over the years, and we want to get them cleaned up,” Welch said.
Code enforcement is designed to enforce rules that promote cleanliness, safety and consistency throughout Olney. Welch commented on the common codes that are violated. “You violate things such as having grass that is more than 12 inches high on any part of your yard, having more than five tires on your property, or if you own a dilapidated structure that people enter and exit for unlawful purposes,” Welch said.
Recently, the City Council condemned 13 dilapidated houses. The houses came up for review at the last city council meeting. When properties come up for review, Houston said the Code Enforcement officer sends letters notifying owners of the violation. If the owner responds to the letter and resolves the issue, no further action is taken. On the other hand, if they are nonresponsive, they may receive a citation. “What typically happens when owners don’t respond, the dilapidated properties make their way to City Council, who acts as the building commission, and the Code Enforcement officer presents a report to the council. Then there is a public hearing followed by an order to repair, remove or demolish within 30 days,” said Houston.
Properties are demolished at the expense of the City. “We use our labor and equipment to do the demolition. “We bill the property owner, and if they don’t pay the bill, we place a lien on the property,” said Houston.
To involve citizens in the code enforcement process, the City is conducting a Facebook survey to get a feel from the community regarding code enforcement. The survey opens Feb. 6 and runs through Feb. 27. The survey can be found on the City’s Facebook page. They want to know if you would support a program that promotes the beautification of Olney. If so, what is your priority? You will be allowed to select from things such as dilapidated structures, weeded or junky lots, among other things. If you are unable to complete the Facebook survey, you may call Ariel at Olney Enterprise to share your selection and comments.
An old motto that the previous publisher used to print in some of the older issues of Olney Enterprise is, “This is my town. This is your town. Together, we make a better town.” Get involved!