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By ROSS BROWN
GIBSON CITY — Gibson City Council members approved the demolition of an abandoned house at 403 W. 10th St. on the city’s west side Monday night.
The council accepted a $6,500 bid from Lee Excavating to carry out the project.
Mayor Dan Dickey said the city has been given permission from Ford County officials to move forward with the project.
The property has been vacant for several years, and parts of the house have collapsed — an issue that Helen Mott, who lives next door, addressed at a previous meeting.
Alderman Jan Hall asked if the city will be responsible for back taxes on the property, which total around $5,000 dating back to 2008. Dickey said the city is not responsible since it does not own the property itself.
Once demolition is completed, Dickey said he intends to file a lien against the property owner for half the cost.
Also Monday night:
➜ The council approved spending $30,100 to place a sewer line underneath the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing. City Superintendent Randy Stauffer said project costs total $29,100, with an additional $1,000 licensing fee. The project is part of the city’s multi-year goal of separating its sewer and wastewater lines. Dickey said a check will be written immediately to Donahue & Associates, with money coming from the contingency line of the sewer fund.
➜ A reimbursement increase for Police Chief Eric Hyatt was approved. The new amount will increase from $25 per month to $100 per month. The increase is due to a cell phone plan for Hyatt. The increase is retroactive to Nov. 1, Hyatt’s first day on the job.
➜ City Administrator Peggy Stalter said water bills were to be sent to residents on Feb. 15, adding that residents can now pay their bills electronically either through the city’s website or via a card reader located inside City Hall.
➜ Because Assistant Administrator Brenda Daniels is moving out of the state, Stalter recommended the city hire a replacement.
➜ Payment of $821 to Clark Dietz & Associates was approved. The amount is for work on two of the new light poles downtown.
➜ Stauffer said he is looking for a replacement truck for the city, as a 1998 Chevrolet it owns is wearing down.
➜ Stauffer said that Well #5 at 13th and State streets stopped working over the weekend, and the tornado siren snapped due to high winds on Sunday morning. A local repairman is working on the well, while the siren is being reassembled but may need to be replaced due to its old age, Stauffer said.
➜ Gary Lutterbie said Gibson Area Hospital is sponsoring this year’s fishing derby at the fishing pond. He said fishing committee members are focusing on planting trees and concrete work for the spring.
➜ Hall informed Stauffer that only $5,320 remains in the forestry account until May 1. She said all of the spending so far has been on maintenance.