By: Diane Benjamin
At the Normal Town Council meeting on October 18, 2021 a bill was approved labeled remediation. The amount was $23,250.
I received the whole story by FOIA.
The police were asked to do a wellness check by a neighbor on 3/27/2021. The neighbor was concerned because mail was piling up and the owner had not been seen recently. The police found the front door unlocked and entered the home.
I have lots of pictures, but below is one that shows what they found throughout the house:
Police saw rates, mice, animal feces, mounds of trash, mold, and a ceiling caved in.
Keep in mind, this is March. The owner had moved to a motel. Since the police didn’t know that they checked the entire house.
Also on March 27 Greg Troemel, Director of Building and Zoning, sent the owner a letter saying the property was not approved for occupancy.
The Town next got 2 bids for cleaning the property. The October check was made out to Chem-K LLC, that is Paul Davis Restoration.
A contract was signed on June 7, 2021 by the homeowner and Pam Reece. The issue never went to Council for a vote before she decided to hand out a no interest loan. Another bill for rat/mouse traps for $85 is a gift from taxpayers, it isn’t included in the repayment. The contract between the Town and Paul Davis Restoration was signed June 4th.
Below are the repayment terms:
I asked for a copy of the lien filed, I didn’t get one. The statement below says Normal MAY file one, Normal needs to file one so a future buyer is aware of the contract.
If this hadn’t been a duplex the property probably would have been condemned and demolished. Instead, the owner got the home cleaned and a no interest loan courtesy of taxpayers.
The documents I received say nothing about mental health and/or required counseling. The owner obviously needs it. The contract does have this provision:
The Town has now set a precedence for properties they deem a “health hazard”. The Health Department wasn’t contacted to agree with Normal’s findings or to assist in getting counseling for the homeowner. The Town will remediate and hope to get paid back. Since the contract states code violations are likely to still exist, the property might only be worth around what the Town invested. It needs to be taken back to the studs, rewired, and then rebuilt.
Was Town code followed? So if you can interpret this: https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/7696/Chapter-02—Officers-Elected-and-Appointed?bidId=
The Council wasn’t notified until October, maybe because it was discovered days before the last election.