By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Local landlord Ronald Davidhizar has until Wednesday to demolish the remains of two homes he owns at 425 N. Fifth Street and 427 N. Fifth Street that were destroyed by a fire on Nov. 26, 2012.
Davidhizar was notified that the buildings were in violation of the Goshen City Code March 12.
During the Board of Public Works and Safety and Stormwater meeting Monday, a public hearing was held for the purpose of reviewing the order of demolition.
Davidhizar told the Board that the individual he had hired to do the demolition had backhoe trouble.
“He was pretty slow in getting it fixed and finally (I) wasn’t able to contact him,” Davidhizar said. He then asked Goshen City Attorney Larry Barkes for a list of people able to carry out the demolition. Barkes handed a list to Davidhizar.
“I’m eager to have it down and looking better and no longer be a detriment to the neighborhood,” Davidhizar said.
Some individuals spoke before the Board during the public hearing about the two properties.
Mary Kay Longacre, Title I director for Goshen Community Schools, spoke as a representative for Chamberlain Elementary School.
“There is a distinct danger for children across from the property,” Longacre said. “The sooner the danger is removed from that proximity the better. Eleven-year-olds don’t have much control and 5-year-olds have even less.”
Douglas Miller said he’s a homeowner on Crescent Street and, “the whole neighborhood would like to see the matter resolved as soon as possible because dozens of children go up and down the street and eventually somebody could get hurt.”
The Board approved a motion for the City to move forward with the legal process to perform the demolitions if Davidhizar doesn’t have it done by Wednesday.
In other business
• The Board approved a request by the Goshen Water Utility for the closure of Fifth Street between the railroad tracks and Crescent Street April 22 and April 23 for the North Water Plant standpipe demolition. The closure will include the pedestrian bike path along the south and east sides of the water plant property at 308 N. Fifth Street.