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BE HRA buys, tears down house last week

City has been trying to get owners to fix it or demo it for 2 years

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Jan 10, 2021

The city of Blue Earth has been trying to have this house at 906 Upper Valley Drive either fixed up or torn down for nearly two years. It was torn down last Monday afternoon.

An empty and seemingly abandoned house in the Upper Valley neighborhood in Blue Earth was torn down last week, after a nearly two year effort by the city to get something done with the house.

The house at 906 Upper Valley Drive has been discussed at City Council meetings for nearly two years. Residents in the neighborhood had filed numerous complaints about the house and wanted something done about it.

In July of 2019, the council finally sent notices of abatement to the owners after inspection of the structure deemed it unsafe and hazardous. The building inspection determined the structure needed $80,000 to $100,000 in repairs to bring it up to code compliance, and to make it safe enough for someone to live there.

The owner of the house, a bank in San Diego, California, and a loan servicing company in New York, had repairmen come work on the house so it could be turned back over to HUD (Housing and Urban Development), a federal agency.

After that was done, the city of Blue Earth and its Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), submitted a bid of $38,400 to HUD to purchase the house back in August of 2020. It was accepted and the city, through its HRA, took over ownership.

The bid to demolish the house was $19,995, by Erosion Control Plus, of Winnebago.

The HRA will now be meeting to decide what to do with the lot, according to city administrator Mary Kennedy. The options could include selling the lot, or the HRA keeping the lot for a future project of its own.