Health Unit on Abandoned Homes - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Health Unit on Abandoned Homes

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The city can't simply demolish homes that have been left untouched since the 2011 Mouse River Flood.

That was the message from a meeting of the city's Public Works Committee today.

The group heard from Jim Heckman of First District Health Unit.

He said the health unit has finished demolishing homes that were obvious health or safety hazards.

Now, he says, any homes that might need major clean-up or demolition can't be identified without an inside inspection - and that requires a homeowner's permission.

City Attorney John Van Grinsven says the city must make sure it is respectful of property rights in moving ahead with trying to deal with abandoned homes.

(John VanGrinsven, Minot City Attorney) "You first have to deal with these people do have rights in that property and we just can't decide that because a complaint's been made that in three days we're going to demo the home. It has to run its course."

One area resident suggested the city form a citizens committee to develop a plan for dealing with homes that have obviously been abandoned without being cleaned up since the flood.

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