BAXTER -- The city of Baxter will begin a condemnation process of the property and house owned by Terry Kinder in the city's Southdale Addition.
The decision to petition the Crow Wing County District Court to begin condemnation proceedings to acquire the property through eminent domain was approved unanimously by the Baxter City Council Tuesday.
For the past five years, the city of Baxter has been trying to get Kinder to fix and clean up his house. In July the council declared that Kinder's property was a public health nuisance. At its last meeting, the council sought options to penalize Kinder for not maintaining his property.
Building code violations included insufficient railings on the deck; unfinished soffits; a floor that possibly is insufficient to carry weight; accumulation of junk in the yard; and the fact that Kinder is using the house as a storage facility, which is not permitted in a residential (R-1) use.
Options to address the Kinder property were presented to the council by City Attorney Brad Person. Person recommended condemnation because the city could take full title and make whatever improvements that are needed.
"It's staff's opinion that the situation isn't going to get resolved unless we try to do something more aggressive," Person said.
Person noted that through condemnation, Kinder would seek fair market value for the house.
At the last council meeting, Dennis Coryell, city administrator, said Kinder has threatened city staffers who have gone to inspect the house. Mayor Gary Muehlhausen said Tuesday that Kinder conducts business at several sites around Baxter and a plan should be devised to ensure inspectors' safety at those sites.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.