The Paper photo by Frank Phillips.The house behind this shrubbery is scheduled for demolition by the City of Crawfordsville.
The Paper photo by Frank Phillips.

The house behind this shrubbery is scheduled for demolition by the City of Crawfordsville.

Gary D. Nelson, the owner of the house at 1000 W. Market Street said his house is secure and he doesn't know what the City of Crawfordsville wants him to do.

Code Enforcement Officer Barry Lewis wrote an unsafe building order on the property at 1000 and 1002 W. Market St.

During a public hearing during Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Works and Safety, Lewis said the city has received "several complaints of overgrowth and about the condition of the building."

Lewis said the rear portion of the roof was caved in and vermin were in the abandoned house.

During questioning by Ken Minnette, attorney for the city, Lewis said several notices had been sent to the owner.

Later, Minnette said the owner had refused those letters.

Lewis requested the house be demolished. He said he had not been able to contact the owner by phone.

"I'm right here," said a man, who stood up at the back of the City Council chambers.

He was asked to approach the board and identify himself.

He said he was the owner and identified himself as Gary D. Nelson.

"A tree fell on the back porch but the house is still secure," Nelson said. "There are no broken windows."

The house has been vacant about 18 months, Nelson said.

Lewis had said it was difficult to see the house because of the overgrown bushes, a point which drew agreement from board member Erin Corbin.

Nelson disagreed that the shrubbery covered the front of the house.

He also said he plans to retire later this year and his retirement money is tied up in the house.

"I don't know what you want," Nelson said. "I'll do whatever you want."

Later, Minnette said the unsafe building order tells the owner what needs to be done and Nelson learned of the unsafe building order through a legal notice in the newspaper because he refused delivery of the mailed letters.

On a 3-0 vote, the board affirmed the unsafe building order. However, if Nelson presents an acceptable plan to the city before demolition, the board can reconsider the order, Mayor Todd Barton said.

In other business, board members Barton, Corbin and Susan Albrecht approved 3-0:

A contract between the city and Kesee & Sons for $1,324 for painting at the Municipal Golf Course.

A contract between the city and Milestone for $6,260 to expand the paved parking lot at the Park and Recreation Center.

A request from the FOP to abate the noise ordinance for an event at Creekside Lodge on Saturday from 11 p.m. to midnight.

The board will next meet at 10 a.m., Wednesday.