By Amalia Kortright, For The Tribune
CLAY — The Clay City Council unanimously voted to rescind a prior resolution that was passed on June 6 at their meeting on July 5. Resolution 2016-20, which was passed on June 6, condemned the property at 7550 Misty Lane and ordered that it be demolished. However, the resolution was passed without the council’s knowledge that the owner of the property was granted a building license on June 2.
According to City Manager Ronnie Dixon, the property owner has since repaired the property, and has met the satisfaction of the building inspector.
“They went until the very last possible day, and came and got the permit,” Dixon said. “They are a construction company. They are licensed in the city of Clay. I don’t feel that we had the right to refuse them a building permit.”
“We never should have voted,” City Councilman Ricky Baker said. “Maybe we could have denied the building permit if we had already voted to demolish it.”
According to City Attorney Alan Summers, the city is legally required to rescind the resolution.
“If we tore it down, we would have to pay for all the work they did on it,” Summers said. “We may not be allowed to, if they file an injunction, because we took that act. If we’re going to [take further action], we’re going to have to start over at a later date. The city is leaving themselves open if they don’t go along with what was already done.”
However, some citizens disagree with the city’s decision and believe that the building should still be torn down.
“I’ve watched this structure deteriorate for 24 years. There has been no work done. I don’t know what has changed to make it different from when they voted that it was unsafe and unsanitary,” resident Keith Tice said.
While there have been no reported injuries or illnesses that are the result of the property, Tice believes that there could be in the future.
“If I’m picking up tin that’s blown off the roof after a storm, something unsafe is going on there,” Tice said. “What if someone was walking during that time, or driving their car?”
Tice, who has lived near the property since 1996, said he does not expect the city to take action on the property in the future.
“They just showed me where [the owner] got a building permit on June 2, so they should have never had the meeting on June 6,” Tice said.
Dixon also noted that the property is historical, and that demolishing it could cause backlash from some residents. “We’ve had some calls about destroying another historical barn in the City of Clay,” Dixon said. “There are people who want that structure to stand.”