Deteriorating Church Hill house to be demolished
CHURCH HILL — The deteriorating and long abandoned house at 319 Main St. in Church Hill is likely to soon be a thing of the past.
At their meeting on Monday, June 6, the Church Hill town commissioners approved Resolution 12016, clearing the way for the demolition of the building. They hope it will bring an end to lengthy efforts to do something about the twostory home, which the town has owned since 2014.
“This resolution will give us the opportunity to put it out for bid for demolition and reclamation of the property,” said Commissioner Charlie Rhodes.
While the actual age of the house is not known, Commissioner Jack Griffin said he believes it’s over 100 years old. The series of events that got the situation to where it is now can be traced back nearly 20 years, said Commissioner Ed Raffetto, who introduced the resolution.
“It was sold about 1998 or ‘99 ... to a person who did not have the resources to take care of it,” he said. “It was already in poor condition then. The owner abandoned the property and it lay derelict. The bank, once it realized it had this property, did nothing ... zero ... so we had many years of deterioration on top of what was already a serious problem.”
Raffetto said that over years there were demands from the town “that the bank take care of its property” but the matter was not resolved. Liens were later involved and in August 2014, ownership of the long-vacant house passed to the town, he said.
There was talk of restoring the building, but it proved impractical. Estimates for restoration provided to the commissioners earlier this spring were so high that restoration was deemed “economically unfeasible,” according to Raffetto.
“They have electrical wiring in there from about 1920 ... not all of it ... but some of it. The back end could collapse ... the back end, which was very poorly built to begin with ... has not been maintained,” said Raffetto. “The sewer pipes are almost rusted through ... exposed lead paint [is] all over the house. The porch is about to collapse.”
Yellow tape warning people to stay away is around the building, but it keeps getting ripped down, according to Raffetto. He calls the house “a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of anybody who goes near it.”
Rhodes said, “We own it ... we have potential liability.” He hopes a firm can be engaged soon to remove the old structure and re-use the land. “It could possibly, in the future, be a little parking lot there.”
A new house, however, appears unlikely, said the commissioners, because it is an oddly shaped lot.
The Church Hill town commissioners are seeking bids to demolish this deteriorating and long-vacant house at 319 Main St. It is believed to be about 100 years old.
The front porch of 319 Main St. in Church Hill is about to collapse, according town Town Commissioner Ed Raffetto. The commissioners are seeking bids to tear down the deteriorating and vacant building.
The back side of 319 Main St. is in danger of collapsing, according to Church Hill Town Commissioner Ed Raffetto. The town is seeking bids to demolish the house.