Rainier city officials are taking steps to clear a fire damaged home from property along East E Street.
The remains of the house at 516 East E Street, which were consumed by an electrical fire, have sparked citizens concerns about safety and claims that the burnt remains are a neighborhood nuisance. Area neighbors have citied vandalism at the property and expressed concerns that children explore what they consider to be a dangerous site.
In a published interview with The Chief in May, Rainier City Administrator Scott Jorgensen said the city could declare the property a nuisance and have the property cleared.
The Rainier City Council conducted a public hearing, Monday, June 7, to review an ordinance to deal with the damaged home. A neighbor, and former city councilor Judith Taylor, testified that the house is a dangerous nuisance that is falling down. Debris blows into nearby houses when the wind blows and the house smells bad, according to Taylor, who encouraged the council to move forward with declaring the house a nuisance.
Mayor Jerry Cole read an email into the record from attorney Bob Lucas, who is representing the owner’s son, Gabriel, on this matter. The owner, Nidia Coy, settled her claim with the insurance company for the house fire and returned to her native Costa Rica. Lucas has agreed to help Gabriel apply for a conservatorship so he can obtain court approval to clean up the property. Gabriel, through Lucas, is asking the city to delay enforcement action that may be costly to the Coys and the city. Lucas suggested that the city revisit the item at its next meeting to see what the status on the conservatorship proceeding is.
Following the council session Jorgersen said the council’s proposed ordinance gives the city flexibility, which includes the option of putting a lean on the property to recover the cost of clean up.
“There is a human element to all of these kind of circumstances and he (Gabriel) wants to move forward and get it done,” Jorgensen said. I told the property owner’s son I would be willing to testify at any conservatorship proceedings and/or submit a letter on city stationery stating the city’s position about the need to abate the nuisance.”
Jorgensen said a specific time frame to clear the property has not yet been determined.
“That is up to all those involved,” he said. “Everyone would want to see this cleared up as quickly as possible. My hope is that it could be done within the next three to four months.”