MONTICELLO — Almost two years after acquiring two dilapidated properties, the city of Monticello will have one less to worry about.
But that hinges on whether the new bidder can meet certain benchmarks for completing the job.
The city’s board of works and public safety OK’d a resolution to allow Pass Enterprises Inc., of Monticello, to acquire the dilapidated property at 318 Cleveland St. for $1,000 and build a new two-family duplex on the site.
Kaleb Pass, president of Pass Enterprises, plans to demolish all existing structures on the property and prepare the lot for new construction of a new two-family duplex. City documents state the new duplex will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and each unit — measuring 110 feet by 31 feet — will have a garage.
Pass Enterprises will acquire the title and deed to the property, but it must meet certain benchmarks along the way or else the title would revert back to the city.
One benchmark is to have the Cleveland Street property’s structures demolished and prepare the lot for new construction no later than Dec. 1, 2020, according to city attorney George Loy.
“In my conversations with Kaleb, he intends on doing it quicker than that,” he said.
Building the new duplex must also take place no later than June 1, 2021, and be completed by Sept. 1, 2021.
In a letter to the city obtained by the Herald Journal, Pass estimates the total cost of the project to be $150,000. Disposal of the current home and other structures at the Cleveland Street address, he wrote, would cost approximately $6,000 before new construction can begin.
“He will receive the deed that will have conditions in it,” Loy said. “He will be required to do everything proposed and if he doesn’t, then the title could revert back to the city. He has every intention of performing. We hope it doesn’t (revert back to the city) and we trust that it won’t.”
In 2018, the Cleveland Street property, along with another dilapidated home structure at 222 Dewey St., went up for a delinquent tax sale through the city treasurer’s office, but neither received a bid.
The delinquent tax certificate was then assigned to the White County Commissioners, which meant they could try to find a bidder, do something with the properties, or assign the tax certificate back to the city.
Although the county commissioners offered Monticello the houses without cost around October 2018, there was a waiting period for someone to make a claim on the house — the same period as if the properties were bought at a tax sale.
In a story published May 25, 2019, in the Herald Journal, Loy said the Cleveland and Dewey properties are “free of all liens and encumbrances.” The homes have been vacant for many years and its owners could not be located.
Former City Councilman Phil Vogel noted in the story that one of the properties had a tax bill of about $24,000.
Now that the Cleveland Street property will be cleaned up, Loy said he plans to talk with Pass about the Dewey Street property.