The old Jones Funeral Home at 1220 La Salle, which caught fire and burned down two months ago, now has a timetable for demolition.
Commmunity Development Director for Navasota, Guadalpe Diosdado, explained what his team found when inspecting the building on April 20th.
“We found it to be in violation of two specific sections of our ordinance. One of them being that the structure has been fire, water, earthquake, wind, vandalism, or other cause, to such an extent that it has become dangerous to the public’s health, safety and welfare,” said Diosdado. “As well as the structure, because of its condition, is unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of citizen’s, including all conditions conductive to harboring vermin, rats, mice, or other disease carrying animals or insects, reasonably calculated to spread disease.”
The city has reached out to the property owner, who said he would not have the necessary funds for a demolition of the property, which includes two buildings. Diosdado said the second building behind the funeral home has been without windows, or a door, for years, and would likely be structurally unsafe.
If the owner cannot demolish the structures, then Diosdado says the city has some room in the budget to do it themselves, if needed.
“Actually, we have not spent any money this year on demolitions, so we do have the full budget if we need to use it,” said Diosdado.
Council debated the topic for about 30 minutes, discussing putting a lien on the property, as well as a tax sale, before Councilman Bernie Gessner made his motion.
“I further move that, one, the owners is to demolish or remove and all debris within 30 days. Two, that the premises be cleaned, and maintained free of all trash and debris, within 30 days. And three, if the owners fails to demolish or remove the buildings within 30 days, the city shall demolish the building, at its expense, and place a lien on the property to recover its costs,” stated Gessner.
The council unanimously approved the motion, giving the owner 30 days to remove the structures and clean up the property.