August 14, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 190

City to accept bids to demolish blighted Bonnie Street structure

IRONWOOD — A blighted structure has been boarded up to be demolished and another house is scheduled to be leveled, the Ironwood City Commission learned Monday.

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe
A BUILDING at 213 Bonnie St. in Ironwood has been declared unfit for human habitation and will be torn down by the city of Ironwood. The property owner, John Harteloo, took no action in the past year to make repairs or clean up the parcel, as requested by the city.

An eyesore at 213 Bonnie St. that was condemned by the city has been taped off and the city will seek bids from contractors to get it torn down.

City officials have been working for the past three years to raze the structure at 213 Bonnie owned by John Harteloo. The commission condemned the property on Feb. 11 and gave Harteloo until Aug. 9 to fix the building or have it demolished.

“He has not done anything to the structure to date,” city building inspector Dennis Hewitt wrote in a memo to commissioners.

The house has been declared unfit for human habitation and Harteloo may no longer enter it. There are also junk cars and piles of trash on the parcel, creating strong odors.

There is no water, nor sewer service to the building.

Once bids are received for the demolition, they will come before the commission for approval.

Harteloo attended the Monday meeting and addressed the city commission twice. He said he is now homeless and his tools remain in the building.

He criticized the commission for not informing him in the past of grant money that might have been available to tear down the structure.

Harteloo drew support from city resident Steve Frank, who called commissioners “bullies” who were picking on the weak. “None of you are fit to sit up there,” Frank said.

Following a public hearing on Monday, the commission also condemned a structure at 715 Leonard St. belonging to Ed and Paulette Rickard. The house was gutted by a fire about two years ago.

Ed Rickard said he has a contractor lined up to demolish the house. If Rickard doesn’t take action within 30 days to tear down the building, the city will take action.

City manager Scott Erickson said it’s less expensive for a homeowner to have a house demolished than the city taking over the process.

Rickard said he has talked with Cloverland Motors and the house should be coming down soon.

During the public participation portion of Monday’s meeting, city resident Paul Grbavcich suggested blight action be taken on the parcel owner at 1200 Celia St. He said there’s a collapsed garage there, with a junk car in the yard. He said the only reason the grass was cut there was because the city mowed it.

Grbavcich also blasted what he called “slum lords” in the city, citing as an example four people who are living in a house that doesn’t have water.