As the Ocean Shores City Council considers tougher laws on nuisance properties that have chronic problems, the city has listed four properties as being ready to go through the abatement process.
Two of them are on Rain Street and two on Edgewood Avenue.
“The two on Edgewood, it turns out that we took one of them back” through foreclosure, noted Mayor Crystal Dingler in giving a report to the council during a Aug. 21 study session on Public Safety issues. “So it belongs to the city now, and that makes it easy for us to abate.”
One of the properties on Edgewood has a trailer on it “that is in pretty bad shape, and we believe it is being broken into,” Dingler said.
Residents have complained that a number of problem properties harbor transients and foster crime and drug use, and Police Chief Neccie Logan has outlined proposed changes in city law that would give more ability for the city to take action sooner, potentially leading to criminal charges.
Dingler has suggested that the city should do the abatement work with Public Works employees on the Edgewood property “to find out what the costs really are.”
“It takes time to take it apart,” she said. “… It will be an effort, but I think it will help a lot for us to understand what the costs will be as we go forward with our budget.”
The other property on Edgewood currently has an owner that is in a nursing home. It reportedly is going to be foreclosed on by Grays Harbor County in December.
Also set to be abated is a property at 220 Rain St. and another one on Rain, both of which are in the process of county foreclosure, Dingler said.
“We have some other properties that we are looking at and working on,” Dingler said. “They are not ready. For abatement, you have to go through a process, so we are going through that process.”
Once an abatement is completed with demolition and cleanup, the properties then can be put back on the market and the city can try to recover whatever costs it can.
“We will do our best to recoup as much as we can on that property,” Dingler said, noting the city still has almost 200 properties it is trying to sell that have been through the foreclosure process.
Robert Crumpacker, former councilman now running for Position 7, expressed concern about using city workers to do the actual demolition work on the abatement on Edgewood.
“I think that’s a terrible idea,” Crumpacker said of using city workers. He questioned if there was asbestos involved in the ceiling and flooring.
“We have to rent equipment we don’t own with people who don’t have the expertise to do it,” he said. “You will be much better off if you hire people who have the equipment and the expertise to do those” abatements.