Owner making progress on Beechwood home

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 19, 2019

Town working to help owner clean up dilapidated house

COLUMBUS — After hearing numerous complaints about a dilapidated house at 75 Beechwood West Drive in Columbus, town council discussed recent progress made.

The Columbus Town Council met Thursday and heard from Town Manager Tim Barth.

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Barth said he and the town clerk met with the owner on Jan. 4 and visited the property.

“Having seen pictures of what it looked like beforehand, there is a marked improvement,” Barth said. “There’s still lots to do, don’t get me wrong.”

The house has been vacant for years and neighbors have come to council meetings, saying it is an eyesore and is devaluing their properties. The town had previously discussed approving a minimum housing ordinance on the property and going through the steps to take ownership to clean it up or demolish the property.

After speaking to the owner, the town discovered she wanted to clean it up herself and sell the property. The council has asked for updates on the progress to ensure major progress is being made every month.

Barth said the owner has cleaned up most of the rooms and gotten the majority of clothes into bags to give to charity or for garbage.

Barth also said the owner plans to speak to someone about getting a hole in the floor repaired. He also said there was electricity on in the house, so the electrical system seems to be working.

Barth said she is concerned about turning the water on, so he may allow town employees to work with her when the water is turned on.

Barth said he is meeting with the owner again on Feb. 1 at the property.

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre said he has a truck and offered to help her for a few hours hauling off garbage.

Councilman Robert Williamson said the town needs to keep in mind the goal for the town is not to make the house sellable, but habitable.

Columbus Police Chief Scott Hamby said if someone were to drive by the house now, they would not think there is a problem.

Barth said the town’s goal is to have her move everything she can without the town having to step in.

“I don’t want our guys to have to go in there and start cleaning out,” said Barth.