GIBSON CITY — The city council has decided to take a proactive stance on dilapidated properties. It passed an ordinance setting up a $35,000 fund that will be used to reimburse property owners for the successful cleanup of lots and demolition of unsafe or unsightly structures.
Guidelines include reimbursing up to $5,000 or 50 percent of the demolition and cleanup cost for a house and garage, or in a less costly demolition, reimbursing up to 65 percent of the cost, not to exceed $3,250. The city will reimburse 65 percent of the cost or up to $1,000 of demolishing a garage only and will pay up to 50 percent of cleaning up a refuse-laden property, not to exceed $400 of the cost of the dumpster rental.
Property owners must provide a "paid in full" receipt before receiving funds and the money will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Also the council voted to increase water-only rates by 25 percent. The matter has been under discussion for a while and will amount to a $7 monthly increase on customers' utility bills.
Water rates have not gone up since 2000. The new income will be placed in a separate fund for capital improvements such as a new well or a new water tower, both of which will be ultimately needed.