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City dealing with unsafe, dilapidated properties one structure at a time

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City of Livingston logoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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The Livingston City Council held two public hearings on the determination of unsafe, dilapidated properties during its Oct. 10 meeting and following testimony and discussion, took action on both with two different outcomes.

The two properties are a house at 1008 Dunbar Ave., owned by Dunbar Livingston 1008 LLC, and a manufactured home located at 1931 S. Washington No. 51, owned by Jeff McCullar, Amy McCullar and Carlos Barron.

Alvin Hawkins is the owner of the house at 1008 Dunbar Ave. and he thanked Council for the opportunity to speak. He said that he has had some setbacks and some issues with contractors, but that he would like to refurbish the house.

“It doesn’t look appealing, I agree, but the bone structure is good. If Council would give us the opportunity to finish this on a timeline we can meet, we’d like to proceed,” Hawkins said.

Council approved allowing Hawkins time to rehabilitate the house, provided he remove the unsafe front and back porches quickly and then meet again in three months with a designated plan.

There was some confusion as to who the rightful owner of the manufactured home at 1931 S. Washington No. 51 is and who is responsible for its demolition. The lot is owned by Jones Property Management Company and while Jeff and Amy McCullar purchased the manufactured home in 2007, they sold it to Carlos Barron in 2010 but did not properly transfer the title according to state law. Barron does not think he should be responsible for the demolition of it because the sale was not done properly, plus the fact that the McCullars served him with an eviction notice.

“My recommendation is that Council vote to demolish it and both parties pay the cost of demolition,” City Attorney James W. Wright said, adding that he feels the chances of receiving payment for the demolition are between slim and none.

Council approved having the manufactured home torn down and moved out properly and the owner of record being held responsible for having it done.

Council approved the reappointment of Aidney Reeves as a board member for the Lower Trinity Groundwater Conservation District for the term of Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2026.

Although Council entered into an executive session to consult with the city attorney, no action was taken upon return to open session.

City Manager Bill S. Wiggins provided Council an update on current development projects. He said the Highway 190 Apartments, a 64-unit apartment complex located at 909 E. Church St., are coming along. He said work has begun on the King Ranch John Deere Dealership & Turf Business located at 510 U.S. Hwy. 59 Loop South. The historic restoration of the Polk County Courthouse is ongoing. He said Stella’s Bakery, located out Hwy. 190 West, is coming along. He said work is continuing on the major remodel of Walmart and they will have an official re-opening on Nov. 3.

Other items on the agenda included approval of the minutes of the Sept. 12 meeting and the accounts over $500.

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