Herald JournalHoward Lake-Waverly Herald, Oct. 7, 2002

HL Council declines to condemn flood-damaged house

By Lynda Jensen

Condemnation of a Howard Lake house was avoided by the Howard Lake City Council Tuesday night, although it was actually requested by the home owner.

Laurie Warden, who owns the house at 1012 Seventh Avenue, was present at the meeting, asking the council to condemn her flood-damaged home.

She felt this was needed to help obtain financing from either Federal Emergency Management Agency or the state; however the council and City Administrator Kelly Bahn expressed strong doubts about Warden's knowledge of what her options were, and thought the condemnation might actually impede Warden's chances for financial help.

Warden told the council she needed her home condemned in order to obtain funding from FEMA, however, it was noted that other homes going through this process did not require this.

In addition, it was noted that the costs for demolition might come back on the city, since Warden did not know who was going to pay for it.

This may occur anyway, because the house is a safety concern, but the council decided to go through all the usual steps that such a house would go through anyway, rather than borrow the burden of demolition directly.

Council members questioned Warden at length about who she contacted at FEMA and the state.

Her answers did not appear to satisfy the council, which decided to issue a letter by the city building inspector, if needed, that her house is unlivable ­ which is what Warden had been waiting for for months, she said.

Bahn confirmed that Warden had been going through several steps to obtain the letter, waiting for the inspector to visit the house.

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