Friday, June 27, 2008

The Plot Thickens at the McKee Mansion

So here's what we have learned since our report yesterday: the old McKee home at 2630 Richmond is in foreclosure which means that Dennis Deregla and Dennis Reydom now have no interest in securing, repairing and maintaining the home. We have yet to find out which bank is holding the note. Representatives of code enforcement and building inspections have gone to the home and have begun a process to see that the house is secure and the grounds cleaned-up.
The most pressing problem is the uncovered pool. It is half-full of stagnant water. A trash bin and an old gate sit as sunken booty in the deep end. It appears that someone was attempting to build a 2 by 4 grate over the pool and cover that with cheap plastic. The back gate is wide open. Imagine fixing the problem with black plastic. Along comes a young child who attempts to walk out on the grate or plastic cover. His weight sends him into the deep muck where he drowns. Let us hope that the gate is secured, the pool drained, and a solid cover put over it stat! The City is working on it and was quick to respond to neighbor's concerns yesterday.
The President of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association, Lynn Coyle, along with our representative on City Council, Mayor Pro-Tem Susie Byrd are calling for an initial meeting to see what can be done at the Mansion. Short of finding a responsible buyer, some community leaders are asking whether the home and grounds cannot become a community center and perhaps a nexus for a number of environmental, park and habitat organizations.

Focus on the mansion began when neighbor Eddie Holland heard glass breaking and went to investigate. He saw three young girls coming out of the house and recognized one. He notified police immediately.