Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Inaction on the McKee Mansion

We now know that the U.S. Bank National Association (N.A.) (U.S. Bankcorp) has been assigned the deed to the McKee house. The department that works on foreclosed properties can be reached at 800-236-3488. They are on EDT.
The property has had a history of compliance problems with the City of El Paso according to Larry Nichols, the Deputy Director of Building Permits and Inspections:

"There has been a history of enforcement on this property. It has changed ownership a couple of times since 2003 and each time there has been a
slippage in property maintenance. It has been in and out of compliance in 2003,2004, 2005 and 2008 for weeds and debris. Other major structure dilapidation has come about the last few months, since June 2008 it is out of compliance as a unsafe structure.

"Currently there is a condemnation order in place for 'open and abandoned premises'. A title search is in process to identify the current owner for mailing of notices. BPI is making effort via certified mail to schedule the property for a condemnation hearing before the Building and Standards Commission by July 14, for a public hearing on July 30, 2008 to board and secure and maintain secure. We will report events and hearings."
Several neighbors are asking that the City take immediate action and Victor Torres, the Director of Development Services, has been asked if action will be taken. To date, no commitment by him has been made.
Mayor Pro-Tem Susie Byrd emailed Torres the following:
"Just so I understand. Does this mean that we can't take any action to
secure the property prior to the hearing? My worry is that we know kids are
getting on the property right now, we know that it is not safe and we know that
it continues to be vandalized. If we know these things, can't we secure
it now to protect it and to protect anyone that is trying to get on the property."
His response was non-committal: "I expect the property to be secured if an unsafe condition exists. We will take action. Let me know if you have questions."

Yes, we have a question: Since the property is indeed unsafe, when will your department take action?

Some neighbors have suggested patrols by neighbors to walk the sidewalk and alley around the house at night until another solution is found - perhaps two shifts from 11 p.m. or midnight to 5 a.m.

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