White Hall aldermen voted 5-0 Monday evening to condemn a residence and an adjacent storage building at 299 East Little Lane after police Patrolman Brian Todd described the mobile home as unfit for human occupancy.
If the property owners eliminate building code violations within 30 days no additional action will be required by the municipality, City Attorney Tom Owens told aldermen. However, if the owners, Malisa Hodges and Barbara M. Davis, do not correct the violations the city can order the structures demolished and place a lien on Lot 46 of the Dollarway Heights Addition to recover the cost of the demolition.
Todd said notice of Monday’s public hearing before the City Council was mailed to the two owners, who do not reside in White Hall, and a notice was posted on the front door.
The officer said he contacted the owners April 30 and detailed for them the building code violations, adding in June the lot was mowed and some debris was picked up. “It has not been touched since,” Todd added, with the grass and weeds four-feet high and the metal underpinning from the mobile home gone.
The roof and exterior of the residence are damaged, with mold and mildew visible and indications animals had entered the structure, Todd said, noting he had not been able to access the mobile home.
“It would be a health hazard,” he added in response to a question posed by Owens.
Mayor Noel Foster reminded aldermen that he has discussed including a full-time building inspector/code enforcement officer in the 2013 municipal budget. He said while Todd has worked some in code enforcement, his time is limited because he is assigned as a police school resource officer.
Wendell Boast has worked “on call” as a building inspector, but is not in working full-time, Foster added. The mayor cited commercial and residential growth as one reason for a full-time building inspector, and absentee landlords and rental property in the city.
He received authorization from the council to hire a full-time building inspector/code enforcement officer and begin the “transition” while working with Boast and Todd for the balance of the year.