First the fun stuff!
From Doherty High School
December 7 and 8
Next week the Doherty Performing Arts Department will be presenting “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
The show will be performed by more than 70 Doherty students, 1 Forest Grove student and 3 Midland Street School students!
We will also be performing an elementary school matinee December 7 for students from Midland, Tatnuck and May Street schools.
The bulk of the show will be performed by the Theatre 2-3-4 classes, with help from the Madrigal Singers and the Jazz Band.
The show starts promptly at 6:45 p.m. and tickets are a mere $5.
Hope to see you there.
Now the muckety muck …CDBG DEMOLITION GOALS, the process …
From the City of Worcester …
(Rose has made some sentences bold.):
TO THE WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL
FROM THE WORCESTER CITY MANAGER
Re: Council Questions Concerning the Recommended Finance Item for Demolition Purposes
In response to the City Council’s questions regarding the recommendation to transfer 126 190 00 from and to various CDBG accounts to provide sufficient funding for anticipated project costs for the demolition of six buildings, please accept this report.
List of [the CDBG-demo] Properties:
11 Dixfield Road —The Estate of Amelia and Lincoln Crozier
15 Uxbridge Street The Estate of Rose Jordan
147 Belmont Street S. Paquette, Trustee of Belmont 147 Realty Trust
20 Alvarado ROLLO The Estate of Rocco and Lame Mercadante
18 Charlton Street Edilson Souza
89 Austin Street Iglesia Cristiana de la Communidad
… The city has a responsibility to maintain safe neighborhoods. The demolition of dilapidated, dangerous or decadent buildings falls under that role.
Demolition of such properties is an eligible expenditure of block grant funds because one of the national objectives of the ONES program is the elimination of spot slum and blighted properties.
The annual block grant allocation includes a sum set aside for demolition of eligible properties.
The City [of Worcester] places a lien in the amount of the demolition expenses on the property by recording a lien in the Registry of Deeds shortly after demolition.
The lien is then included with the annual tax bill, just as any outstanding water, sewer charges and betterment assessments are included in the tax bills).
The city tax lien takes priority over any mortgages on the property.
Therefore, the bank or person taking a mortgage on a property subject to a demolition order, not the city [of Worcester], takes the risk that there will be no surplus value after the city lien is paid.
(In the case of tax exempt property, the demolition lien is committed to the treasurer who treats the property as taxable for purposes of either collection or foreclosure to satisfy the lien).
… The city [of Worcester] uses two avenues to assess fines to property owners who fail to maintain their property in compliance with building, health and safety codes:
The first is the ” clean and lien” process whereby the city causes repairs to be made and then records a lien on the property for the amount expended.
This process is used to address emergency situations (no heat, imminent structural failure, etc.), where the property is in foreclosure, or, where the responsible party fails to appear in court.
This process is also used to clean weeds and trash from properties creating a nuisance to the neighborhood.
Secondly, the city fines property owners for code violations through the code enforcement/housing court process. That process involves a sequence of code inspections and enforcement orders, a referral to the law department for housing court action, the imposition of a preliminary injunction commanding that repairs
be made, and, if necessary, a series of court actions where the court imposes
fines on the owner to secure compliance and, failing that, the court will hold the owner in contempt and commit them to jail until repairs are made.
While properties with debilitating code violations can be condemned to demolition, properties without any pre- existing code violations, but which have
suffered substantial, structural damage due to fires are eligible for demolition.
(In fact, four of the six properties listed above are being demolished because of structural fire damage).
It would be fair to say that, in all cases, the property involved is “made safe” per order of the [City of Worcester] Code Commissioner.
This is typically accomplished by boarding windows and keeping people at a safe distance with fencing.
The policy in this program is to make every effort to save properties from
demolition through private rehabilitation.
There is usually a period of several
years between the recording of a demolition order and the actual demolition of a property.
Cases with extreme deterioration or fire damage move to the top of the list and, to the extent that funding sources allow, are demolished more quickly.
Except to determine the owner for purposes of the issuance and service of
orders, the city [of Worcester] does not perform periodic title examinations of properties condemned to demolition. As noted earlier, the city lien takes first priority over encumbrances recorded both before and after the recording of the demolition
order. The economic risk falls substantially with the private financier.
Edward M. Augustus, Jr.