Council affirms property demolitions

The Borger City Council has affirmed two property demolitions ordered by the Building Standards Commission.This action was taken during the council’s regular meeting Tuesday, along with resolutions affirming the demolitions. The properties in question were 909 Nelson and 401 North Florida. Both demolitions were appealed by Francisco Perez, who owns the properties, and public hearings were held on each appeal.Larry Byrd, code enforcement officer for the City of Borger, said a public hearing was held back in early August on the Nelson property and the commission ordered the structure be demolished. In late August, an appeal letter was received from Perez to halt the demolition.Byrd said the only thing he has seen that has been done was garage material that was originally in the driveway moved behind the house and along the fenceline. He said there are still broken windows, missing siding from the house, and high weeds. He also obtained an administrative search warrant on the property and went inside.Inside the house, Byrd said there is sheetrock missing, and one can look up through the roof and see daylight. He also sent letters out to property owners within 200 feet of the property, and two who returned letters agreed with the demolition of the property.Mayor Jeff Brain asked if anything had been done over the two months since the property was put on the demolition list. Byrd said nothing has been done. Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Vinyard asked if this specific property had been before the council at another time. Byrd said this particular property had not been before the council, but there have been other properties under Perez’s ownership that have come before the council, and all have been in a state of disrepair.A man representing Perez, whose identity was not made known, said he was at the meeting on Perez’s behalf asking for more time to get the property in shape. He said Perez has been out of town and has had trouble with a squatter on one of his properties. Byrd said the squatter was in the structure for over a year’s time.Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Vinyard said he could see no choice but to affirm the decision. Mayor Brain agreed, saying a good faith effort has not been shown to get the property fixed up.In terms of the Florida property, Byrd said this property was brought before the council in 2009. At that time, the owner did do some work on the house and it was taken off the demolition list. However, since that time, he said no more work has been done to fix it up. He said this was the property where the squatter was living.Byrd said he had driven by the property that day and windows were still broken out. While the squatter was there, he didn’t obtain a search warrant to check the property. However, he said when looking in the window he saw holes in the floor and missing sheetrock. He said this is one of Perez’s worst properties.Council member Brandy Callahan asked how many times this property has been before the council. Byrd said it has been several times, and the commission has been dealing with it for several years. No comments were given at the hearing pertaining to the Florida property.