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Run-down house deemed unsafe
Deadline set to raze abandoned structure
new deh city council unsafe house pic web
The Great Bend City Council Monday night deemed this property at 819 Adams unsafe and dangerous. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 Indeed, the small, white ramshackle house at 819 Adams is an eyesore and potentially dangerous, the Great Bend City Council decided Monday night.

To that end, it adopted a resolution determining the structure at 819 Adams to be unsafe and dangerous, directing the owner to repair or raze the structure by July 16 and, in the event the owner fails to do so, directing the city staff to raze or remove the structure. A public hearing on the matter was held before this action.

“This is one of the worst ones we’ve seen in a while,” City Attorney Robert Suelter said. 

At the May 7 meeting, the council passed a resolution scheduling a hearing for the structure. Notices were mailed out to the necessary parties and were published in the Great Bend Tribune as required by Kansas law, and a 30-day waiting period has lapsed. 

In order to take action on the real estate, however, the council had to hold the hearing. 

The house is in bad shape, Code Enforcement Officer Stuart Baker said. The south wall has been removed, the roof leaks, there are broken windows, many of the window and door frames have rotted out, and the yard is overgrown.

The owner has hauled away two roll-off dumpsters filled with trash. But, since then, Baker said nothing else has been done.

The house is abandoned. But, “it was used as a dog kennel,” Baker said. The dog, which had been on a chain, has since been removed.

Baker said a certified letter was sent to the owner on June 6. According to the Barton County Appraiser’s Office, the owner of the property is Tony C. Jones of Great Bend.

There was no response but Suelter said Jones came to the City Office on June 15 and got a demolition permit. The permit expires in 60 days.

Baker said he invited the owner to attend the meeting Monday night, but he did not show.

However, Suelter suggested the council go ahead with the resolution despite the 60 day limit. By the time the city follows all the legal due process, it could be as many as 48 days before it would take any action.

But, Baker wasn’t optimistic anything more would happen. “Money is the issue.”

In order to meet the city’s requirements, the lot would have to be cleaned, mowed and leveled. This includes the removal the trash and structure, including the concrete foundation.

Should the owner not follow through, the city will do the work and bill the owner. If he doesn’t pay, the city will assess the cost to the owner’s taxes.