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Old 05-17-2018, 08:51 PM
Newton Daily News Newton Daily News is offline
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Default City’s D&D Program adds two properties

While the city is working to move into the second phase of the Dangerous and Dilapidated Program, work is still underway to address blighted homes in Newton. Two new properties, located at 1106 S. Fifth Ave. E. and 925 E. Fifth St. N., were approved for purchase by city council at its recent meeting as a part of the D&D Program.

“The home (at 1106 S. Fifth Ave. E.) has many condition issues including standing brown water (sewage) in the basement, vermin entering the attic and general dilapidation,” city administrator Matt Muckler said. “The property is not a candidate for rehabilitation. In addition, neighbors surrounding the property have complained to staff regarding its condition.”

The property is listed under the ownership of David Wittlesey, who, according to city staff, has indicated he has walked away from the property. He said he considered selling but was unable to provide a clean title.

The city will be using the 657A.10A process to petition for the property. Funds from the 2017 bond dedicated to the D&D program will be used to cover the legal and court fees for the acquisition, which average between $3,000 to $4,000 and the demolition costs.

The second property the council acquired will help the city continue to move forward with neighborhood improvements. The home itself, Muckler said, is of poor quality and has had nuisance issues occurring, as well.

Because the property is currently owner-occupied, the purchase price of $29,900 is the lowest price the owner can accept and still be able to move to another home. Through research, city staff found the price is consistent with past acquisitions of that property that size at .3 acres.

“The most recent (January) purchase of 214 E. Fourth St. N., which is 0.22 acres in size. That purchase price was $27,000,” Muckler said.

D&D program bond funds will also be used to pay for the purchase of the property.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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