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Building owners get 6 months to make repairs

Hawkins:?‘Two years is excessive by a long shot’

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship The owners of the building at 411 Prospect St. will have a total of six months to make the necessary repairs to the building, following action taken by the City Council of Webster City.

The owners of a partially collapsed building in Webster City have been given six months to make the needed repairs.The City Council voted unanimously Monday to impose that deadline for the property at 411 Prospect St. But council members told the building’s owners, Brian Hubbard and Matthew Hubbard, that they are willing to extend that deadline if they make a good faith effort to complete repairs.

The Hubbards had asked city officials in Febuary for a year to make the repairs. On Monday, they asked for two years.

”It shouldn’t take two years by any means,” Matthew Hubbard said.

Council members were not willing to give the Hubbards that much time.

”I think two years is excessive by a long shot,” Mayor John Hawkins said.

Councilman Logan Welch said he agreed with Hawkins, adding ”It’s kind of hard for me to hear two years tonight after your first request was one year.”

Welch recommended a six month deadline.

Councilman Matt McKinney proposed allowing extensions to the six months if work is progressing. That plan was adopted by the council.

The building is a one-story concrete block structure with two overhead doors. In the past, it was home to a sanitation company and later, a roofing company. Part of its roof and one wall have collapsed. The roof apparently fell in during a fire in the 1990s.

City Building Inspector Elise Timm said the structure isn’t a threat to nearby buildings. But as an open building it is a kind of nuisance that can draw people to it, she added.

”There are kids throughout the whole neighborhood who maybe like to go places where they shouldn’t go,” she said.

Early this year, the Hubbards asked Timm for a year to make the needed repairs. Timm only has the authority to give a property owner 30 days to make repairs, so the issue came before the council on Feb. 18. At that time, the council deferred any action, and directed the Hubbards to report back Monday night.

Prior to Monday’s council meeting, the city staff submitted a report to the elected officials that included photos which show broken windows are now boarded up and framing has been set up for a new wall.

The Hubbards reported that they have secured financing and are prepared to order building materials. They have estimated the cost of repairs at $15,000 to $18,000.

Eventually, the building may become the home of Hubbard Concrete Masonry Repair.

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