By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News

In trying to recoup some revenue, the City of Warrior passed a resolution Tuesday to assess liens against six properties in the city.

The city paid more than $35,000 to have abandoned buildings demolished on the properties. The price also included cleaning the debris off of the sites.

If the owners pay up, it will bring in $35,616 to the cash-strapped city.

There were originally seven properties on the list that would have brought the total up to $41,081, but on the advice of the city attorney the council put off placing a lien on a property on Selma Street because of legal concerns about ownership.

During a public hearing held during the council meeting Tuesday, two Warrior residents showed up to protest the city’s actions.

One resident, Thomas Childers, said he was the husband of one of the property owners. Childers said he and his wife did not receive notification from the city about cleaning up the property.

City attorney Joe Wilson, however, said that Warrior building inspector Brent Earnest and the City of Warrior met all legal requirements before contracting out the demolitions.

Wilson said the minimum requirement is for the city to check with the county tax assessors’ office to determine who is the owner.

He added that the city went an extra step by hiring a private title company to perform title searches if owners could not be located.

“We are somewhat limited in our ability to identify” people associated with the properties, Wilson said.

In Childers’ case, Wilson said that four people were listed as owners, and that notices were mailed to two of them.

Childers requested a copy of all bids submitted to demolish his wife’s property at 9654 U.S. Hwy. 31, along with an itemized statement and proof of the surveyor’s cost.

He accused the City of Warrior of “robbing people with these prices.”

“That’s totally false,” said Warrior Mayor Rena Hudson.

The assessed value of the demolition at his site was $5,479.

Councilman James Jett pointed out that the city had to pay to have the properties cleaned up.

“We’re just trying to get our money back,” said Jett.

“It’s not as if we’re taking title to the properties,” said Wilson. He added, however, that if the owners do not pay the city back, the city can sell the properties for the value of the lien in order to recover its money.

Wilson said the city has the right to either demand its money right away or to set up payment plans with the owners. The city did not include payment requirements in the resolution.

The properties that the city placed liens against were:

• 9646 U.S. Hwy. 31: $3,571.15

• 213 9th ST: $5,465

• 706 Oak ST: $6,075

• 9654 U.S. Hwy. 31: $5,479

• 410 Pope Street: $8,176 (including $3,000 for asbestos removal)

• 215 Trafford Road: $6,850

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