Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 22, 2014

BOARD OF WORKS: Properties deemed uninhabitable


GOSHEN — Repairs still need to be made to two Goshen properties that had been targeted by the city Board of Public Works and Safety.

At their Monday meeting, board members determined that the house at 632 S. Seventh Street owned by Ronald Davidhizar is unfit for human habitation. Last year, Davidhizar had agreed to bring the property into compliance with the Goshen Neighborhood Housing Ordinance by June 30, 2013.

Davidhizar had also agreed to bring the property at 205 and 207 Middlebury St. into compliance with the housing ordinance by Nov. 30, 2013. Board members on Monday also determined that building was determined to be unfit for habitation.

Goshen Building Inspector Tony Cano on Monday listed five violations of the ordinance that exist at 632 S. Seventh Street. They include:

• Most exterior window and door trim needs to be painted.

• The ceilings and walls need to be repaired in the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, dining room, foyer and upstairs landing.

• The exterior chimney and foundation need to be repaired and tuck-pointed.

• A water heater needs to be repaired.

• Repairing or replacing of floor covering in the bathroom.

Cano listed 11 violations of the ordinance that exist between the two units at 205 and 207 Middlebury Street. They include:

• Painting of the entire overhang.

• Rotten deck boards and holes that need to be repaired on the front porch.

• Kitchen has peeling paint and needs to be repainted.

• Bedrooms have peeling paint.

• The entire upstairs needs to be painted.

• In unit 205, the ceiling is damaged in a small bedroom on the first floor and needs to repaired.

• In unit 207, missing outlet and switch covers need to be replaced.

• Drywall needs to be re-installed in the living room ceiling in unit 207.

• Unit 207 is dilapidated and being used for storage.

• Both units have no working kitchen.

• Both units have no working bathroom.

Davidhizar indicated that cold weather had stalled work at the sites, and there had been damage done to the roof and interior at 205 and 207 Middlebury Street by raccoons.

“There was ice at least a foot and a half thick in the bathroom and we had to use axes to chop the ice into pieces to carry it out,” Davidhizar said.

Goshen Mayor and Board of Works member Allan Kauffman said he sympathized with Davidhizar about having to chop a foot and a half of ice out of the bathroom. The mayor added, however, “...Wasn’t there time between Aug. 20, 2012, and Nov. 20, 2013, when there wouldn’t have been a foot and a half of ice in the bathroom? Lots of contractors around town would love to fix up some of these properties. There are existing contractors who already have help you could pay to fix up these houses.”

“Tell me where to find them,” Davidhizar said, referring to the fact he has a help-wanted ad out.

“If I gave you some names of contractors, would you hire them?” Kauffman said.

“I would call and talk to them,” Davidhizar replied, “but I’m not going to give anybody a blank check.”

City attorney Larry Barkes indicated court action will be initiated regarding the violations at both properties.

In other business, the board:

• Awarded a $63,039 contract to MC Equipment Inc., doing business as W.A. Jones Truck Bodies and Equipment.

• Approved a request by LaCasa Inc. and DJ Construction to close the alley east of the Hawks building between Madison and Jefferson streets daily from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. for six weeks. Also approved was the closure of Madison Street between the alley and the Millrace for the duration of the reconstruction of the Hawk’s Building from April 23 of this year to April 1, 2015.

• Approved an agreement with Dixon Engineering Inc. to provide water storage tank inspections for the tanks at 2502 Clinton St., and 2109 Caragan Court, for a cost of $3,700. The project is due to be completed by July 31.

• Approved a request to close Logan Street for work to be done on the approach to Monroe Street relating to the Monroe Street bike path project. The closure began Tuesday, and Logan Street will remained closed for approximately three weeks.