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Judge awards city possession of blighted apartment

Carroll city officials expecting to sell land for new use

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A now-blighted and unoccupied apartment building constructed in 1946 is the hands of the City of the Carroll after its former owner failed to remedy nuisances and disrepair or respond to legal and city actions, court documents say.

Soon city officials expect to issue a request for proposal on the property at 408 Seventh St., a 1/5-acre lot where an apartment building, known as the Rehker Apartment, sits in run-down condition, exposed to the elements and decaying. The property is valued at $97,360. No one has lived in the building for more than six years.

District Court Judge Steven J. Oeth ruled that the building does not meet the city’s building code and is “unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use.”

Oeth ordered the property, previously owned by Pamela J. Nieland of Carroll, turned over to the city. Nieland failed to act on a June 15, 2019 city demand to repair or remove the building and garage.

“The owner has not complied with any local housing recommendations and has made no attempt to rehabilitate the property,” the court ruled in an order issued Sept. 21.

City Manager Mike Pogge-Weaver said the action is part of an overall city effort to crack down on nuisance properties that are best unsightly but, in some cases, potentially dangerous.

In a related matter, the city will seek proposals in coming weeks for potential new uses for the former City Hotel 224 Main St. property on the south side of downtown Carroll.

Pogge-Weaver said he expected at least four to five bids on the City Hotel property.

Carroll City Council members in July approved a bid of $71,250 from Templeton Family Farms, the lowest of seven bids, to demolish the building, which dated back to the 1800s. Templeton Family Farms took the building down this summer and has groomed the land for new development since.

As for the Rehker Apartment, it will be up to bidders — and then the city — to decide whether the building should be rehabilitated into code-passing, more-modern apartments, or razed and repurposed altogether.

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