A line has to be drawn somewhere. The Horseshoe Bend City Council upheld a resolution to remove a structure from the city, in spite of the owner's request for more time April 21.
Horseshoe Bend has a set of city codes pertaining to the condition of property and homes, and Horseshoe Bend Mayor Bob Barnes said, "The property is in multiple violations."
The council adopted resolution 2008-06 on March 17, declaring the property detrimental to the public welfare. The property on 1306 Hawk was declared condemned by the city and the council voted to have it removed.
The owner of the property, Bill Hamilton, responded within the legal timeframe and asked for a hearing concerning the issue.
At the April 21 Horseshoe Bend City Council meeting, Hamilton addressed the council and stated he has plans to remodel the mobile home on the property and bring it up to code. Hamilton also stated he has limited funds and was unable to improve the property during the two years since he took ownership.
"He came before the council and was asking for time," said Barnes. The council had made the ordinance a month prior and after questioning Hamilton, voted to uphold the decision.
According to Barnes, the roof is falling in on the mobile home among other code violations. "There is plywood over the doors and all and I didn't go look in it; I just drove by it and looked, but I can imagine from the looks of the outside, the inside doesn't look any better," Barnes said.
"Now his option is he has 20 days to appeal to circuit court. The circuit court may give him time to fix it. Our council members felt like he had owned the property long enough and had plenty of time and all it had done was deteriorate over the period of time he owned it without any improvements being made," Barnes said.
Barnes said he feels like the circuit court would give Hamilton time to make his improvements. "But the question is will he do it?" he said.
"Myself, and the council included, would love to see him get it back up into condition to be an asset to the community and the area he is in, instead of a detriment," Barnes said.
"We hate to have to do it, but there again it brings down the value of the property of the community like it is," Barnes said.
"I hope the court does give him time and I hope that he does get it fixed," he said.
Barnes said when Hamilton spoke to the council he didn't give a solid commitment but only asked for more time, while the city of Horseshoe Bend had already been more than lenient.
"We would love him to fix it up. We would love everybody to keep their place neat and clean like it is supposed to be," Barnes said. "As a rule of thumb 99 percent of our residents do a great job with their property. We feel like the level of pride runs high in Horseshoe," he said.
Barnes said the most common problem is rental property with landlords that live far away and even out of state. "A lot of people who own these properties don't live in Horseshoe. They live miles away. As long as they are getting their rent check they really don't care. It's not in their frontyard," Barnes said.
The News was unable to contact Hamilton concerning the issue.