ROACHDALE -- At the September Roachdale Town Council meeting, the board announced it was issuing unsafe building orders to five homeowners in town. On Tuesday, four of those owners appeared before the council to respond.
The fifth, Ann Webb and Judy Butler, had already completed the demolition at 500 N. Indiana St.
Of the owners who had yet to comply, most reflected a belief that the month from when they were given notice to when they were supposed to be in compliance was not enough time to clear out the building, tear it down and have it properly disposed.
In the letters sent out on Sept. 12, owners were given 30 days (until Oct. 12) to comply with the unsafe building order.
The four remaining were given an extension.
Sheila Gail Williams, owner of 302 E. Columbia St., was given until Oct. 26 (17 days) to have the house emptied, and until Nov. 5 (26 days) to obtain estimates.
Herbert Carey, owner of 204 W. Railroad St., was given the same extension.
Daniel Asher, owner of 209 N. East St., brought the council plans to demolish the home. Because they were rejected, Asher was granted an extension similar to that of Williams and Carey.
Robert Wiggins, and co-owner Charleen Wiggins, have until Oct. 31 (22 days) to have the house and yard cleaned up. Because the homeowners are waiting for an insurance claim to be resolved on the property, the council agreed to re-evaluate the timetable for repairs and maintenance until the November meeting on Nov. 13.
Only Carey contested that the order, which in his case stated that "the structure must be razed and the lot put into acceptable condition thereafter."
The five houses currently under the scope are just the beginning of a town-wide cleanup.
The council has made town-wide cleanup a priority, including the creation of a list of 50 homes in need of repair or razing.
"I hear people complain all the time," council member Zach Bowers said. "We're supposed to just leave the eyesores?"
Council member Barbara Scott said she expects the issue to linger.
"We're going to go through this for the next year, at least," Scott said. "We can't just pick and choose."
When the remaining four houses from this batch are resolved, the council is expected to move on to a new five.