There's a vacant house on Doris Circle in Aberdeen that is on the verge of collapsing, and it may fall to the city government to get rid of the structure.
Former city councilwoman Ruth Ann Young, who lives on Doris Circle, says the house has been vacant for about four years, since the owner died without any living relatives.
In the intervening years, the property has become run down, the taxes have gone unpaid and water and sewer charges have been piling up, as have the tax liens. Still, she said, the house just sits there deteriorating, without electricity, water or mail delivery.
Speaking at the most recent City Council meeting on Aug. 22, Young mentioned the house was recently boarded up by the city.
"What is next and when?" she asked.
City Manager Randy Robertson said he visited the property during his orientation after joining the city government last month and immediately ordered the boarding.
"We need to do something; that house is going to fall down; it's derelict," he said.
Young said she has been following the recent history of the property through newspaper legal notices about foreclosures and tax liens. She brought a thick folder of clippings to the council meeting.
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Robertson said the property has a "third party owner," as a result of a tax sale, an LLC "paying taxes on it" from the Washington, D.C., area.
"Our goal is to get it sold or knocked down as quickly as possible," he added.
Because of several years of neglect, however, Young said the only choice may be the latter.
"From the looks of it now, it has to be taken down," she said.
According to state property records, the 90-foot by 144-foot property is listed in the name of Kenneth R. Brown, who acquired it in the late 1980s. The two-story, 1,700-square-foot house with an attached garage was built in 1960.
Robertson said the city could move to tear down the house on the grounds it's a public health hazard.
"There's probably bad things in there," he noted.