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Taking on some old properties

By Staff | Aug 16, 2015

This former grocery store in Winnebago is on the list.

The county recently released the list of forfeited properties and the city of Winnebago discussed how they plan to deal with them.

A list was given to each city and included all of the tax forfeited properties located in that city.

The Winnebago City Council reviewed their list which had a total of eight properties including both commercial and residential lots.

“We can do three things with any of these lots. We can accept the properties from the county for the sale price, ask the county to uphold them for six months while we decide what to do with it or we can just let the county have it,” city administrator Chris Ziegler said.

They decided to keep five and wait six months to decide what to do with the other three properties.

And some of the properties on that list have already been a topic of conversation for the Winnebago City Council.

“The first two on the list are the old grocery store building,”?Ziegler explained.

The first lot on the list is the south end of the building and the second lot listed is the north end. However, the whole building has already been discussed by both the city of Winnebago and Faribault County.

The building was put on the County’s radar in May and they already knew it would become a tax forfeited property and not one that could be resold.

Due to a water leak, the inside of the building is moldy and in poor condition deeming it a hazard.

“Now we are just waiting for them to let us know how they want to proceed,” Ziegler said. “This is one we will want to have them uphold six months.”

The third property on the list, located near the school, was also a cause for concern for the city.

“I am concerned about this one, there is a large amount of waste in the home, enough to be a concern of being toxic to people’s health,” Ziegler said.

He added that he wasn’t sure how safe it would be to let people in there to proceed with the demolition process.

The council voted to have the county uphold that property for six months, as well, in order to give them time to decide how to proceed with clean up.

The remaining five properties included both bare lots and lots with homes on them.

“We have been mowing a couple of these lots for a number of years already,” Ziegler said.

The sixth property on the list located on Third Street SE, raised the question of eviction.

“There are some questions about the ownership of a trailer on the property,”?Ziegler explained. “We can proceed with the eviction and move the trailer or wait six months and ask the county to do the eviction.”

He said he was approached by one individual who was interested in the property and that the city let it go back to the county so the interested individual can buy it.

“The most important thing is that it gets cleaned up,”?Ziegler said. “They say they will but if we do it that way, it is not a sure thing.”

The council agreed to take the lot from the city right away so they can figure out how to handle the eviction and cleanup of that property before it is sold.

The council accepted the five properties from the county and had them uphold the three other properties.

“So, this means we are potentially looking at five more demos,”?Ziegler added.