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It’s hard for us to point fingers at any one person whose property is in need of repair, but the sorry state of the Obrecht House on Tell City’s Seventh Street is one that warrants community concern and this editorial.
The home needs repaired and restored or it needs to be torn down. It’s that simple.
Let us say, up front, that we hope the home is saved and we would be overjoyed if the current owner, Carolyn Barr, would follow through with her pledge, published in the newspaper a few weeks ago, to return the home to its past glory.
Once one of Tell City’s grand homes, the house is a grand mess today. In fact, it’s an eyesore and we were embarrassed to have Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann see it during her visit to the Tell City Depot June 7 for that building’s dedication.
To be fair, there are homes in equal or worse condition in the city, but none are in such a prominent location.
To her credit, Barr has done work at the home, including to its roof. But much more is needed before city leaders can scratch it from its major eyesores list. Work on the roof needs to be completed, windows replaced, a porch needs stabilized and the exterior walls need to be painted.
We’re a strong believer in the rights of property owners to be left alone but a large dilapidated home in the city’s center can’t be allowed to fester. It’s time for Barr to stabilize the home and make it presentable, sell it to someone who will or tear it down and put the lots to a new use.
If Barr can’t or won’t do what’s needed to her property, it’s time for the city to take legal action. In fact, it’s past time.
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