Works Board slates Main Street property for demolition
Time has run out for a dilapidated home on Linton's Main Street, with the city's Board of Public Works agreeing to push ahead with demolition plans.
Now, the property, which has drawn criticism for several months as a public health hazard strewn with trash, weeds and human and animal waste, could come down within the next two months.
When Linton City Police investigated the 609 N. Main St. property of Ricky Bunch Sr. June 27, they found a building overgrown with weeds, infested by rodents, and strewn with human and animal waste.
"In their words, they said it looked like a toilet had exploded," said City Councilwoman Linda Bedwell.
Bedwell listed a litany of problems found by her husband, the city's Building Inspector Bill Bedwell. Among these were broken foundations, sagging supports, boarded up windows and junk in the yard.
Bunch, who spent six months in prison before being released in August, pleaded with the Works Board to allow him more time to clear the property.
"It's where I live when I'm not in the nursing home," he said. "It's all I've got."
After spending six months in the Greene County Correctional Facility, Bunch said he returned home only to face health problems Oct. 30 which led to a stay at Glenburn Nursing Home.
He said he'd relied on neighbors and friends to clear the land, but had found they didn't do as promised.
Wilkes questioned how long it had been since Bunch resided in the Main Street residence.
"I don't know," Bunch replied. "Four or five months?"
However, only moments later, Linton City Council President Tony Richards, who also serves on the Works Board, seemingly received a contradictory answer from Bunch.
"I've been there off and on over the last two months," Bunch said.
Richards noted the discrepancy, as did Wilkes.
"From what I've been told, there is no way that house is even livable," Wilkes told Bunch.
"You said you hadn't been living there, and I've seen you out there, walking up and down the street, or riding your motorcycle around," Richards observed.
He then moved the city proceed with tearing the home down. Richards also moved the city impose a $600 fee for costs of legal work, and potentially add to that cost up to $5,000 for the expenses of tearing the building down and cleaning up the property.
Works Board attorney Luke Rudisil told Bunch he could collect his property from the run-down home before it was demolished, adding the city works board would provide him notice before accepting bids on the tear-down.
The effort had already been delayed when the board sought to determine whether Bunch or his similarly named son owned the land.
"There was a question whether the property owner was Ricky Bunch Sr. or Ricky Bunch Jr.," the attorney added. The elder Bunch confirmed Monday he is the owner, and the record shows he was reached by certified mail and had responded with a letter seeking additional time.
However, he said Monday he did not recall sending that letter, nor being served.
"Since I've been sick, my memory's not been as good," he said.
Bedwell has listed the Main Street property as among her top priorities on a list of dilapidated properties not only because it's an eyesore, she's said, but also because it's on one of the most-travelled city streets. "What am I going to do when I'm not in the nursing home?" asked Bunch. "It's all I've got."
The home will be torn down, Wilkes replied.
"The decision has been made," the mayor said. "And it is final."