The Jefferson City Housing Authority officially has possession of 103 Jackson St., moving it one step further in the East Capitol Avenue Urban Renewal Plan.
The Housing Authority took possession of the building last week, Housing Authority Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said Tuesday. Stephen and Cheryl Bratten owned the property but voluntarily relinquished it after the Housing Authority filed a condemnation civil suit last August.
During the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, commissioners looked through photos of the building, which showed some damaged foundation, electrical issues, chipped and peeling paint, and debris inside the home. Considering the home was abandoned for a while, Quetsch said, it was in better shape than she expected.
"I think it's in reasonable shape, and we want it to stay that way so it can become better," she said.
The next step is to secure the building and take care of it by cleaning out trash and having it inspected. The commission then will decide what to do with the property, which Quetsch said would include requesting proposals. Those interested in the building would submit plans and a purchase offer.
The Brattens' attorney, Ryan Waters, told the News Tribune last month the Brattens decided to give the property to the Housing Authority voluntarily since Cole County Judge Dan Green had ruled the Brattens did not have an apparent legal defense, as the city followed procedures.
Also included in the August condemnation civil suit are Barbara Buescher's 101 and 105 Jackson St. properties. Her attorney, Thomas Snider, filed a motion to set aside prior orders presented in the case on the basis Buescher had not received adequate notice of the possible condemnations and summons since the letters and summons were sent to an East Capitol Avenue property Buescher said was not her residence at the time.
Green tentatively sustained that motion "subject to our ability to show whether Ms. Buescher has a meritorious defense to overturn the decisions that have been made in the case so far," Snider said last month.
A hearing has not been set in Buescher's case.
In February, the Housing Authority paid $153,000 for 101, 103 and 105 Jackson St. and to cover the cost of court-appointed commissioners' time. Three court-appointed commissioners assessed the properties in January.
The Board of Commissioners, residents and city staff listed seven top-priority properties in the East Capitol Avenue urban renewal area last year. The Housing Authority reviewed appraisals for the seven properties — 101, 103, 105 and 108 Jackson St., as well as 401, 500 and 501 E. Capitol Ave.
The Jefferson City Council approved the East Capitol Avenue urban renewal zone, bordered by East State Street, Lafayette Street, East High Street — including some parcels on the south side of East High Street — and Adams Street in 2016 after a study found the area to be blighted due to deteriorating conditions of some properties.
The Housing Authority also presented Jefferson City Police Department Sgt. Joe Matherne a resolution Tuesday for receiving the Missouri National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' 2018 Peace Officer of the Year Award.
"Sergeant Matherne has tirelessly worked to protect the citizens of the City and has helped develop community programs to help people deal with stressful issues and avoid criminal activity, and along with the Community Action Team, has spent considerable hours protecting the public housing neighborhoods," the resolution states.