City forgives 12-year-old lien

Aiming to strike a balance between covering the city’s cost and reaping tax dollars in the future, council members last week forgave a 12-year-old demolition lien of $3,850 on property at 501 Phillips Drive.
According to Gladewater Inspector Al Harrison, that’s the cost incurred by the city after demolishing a home at the spot in 2011.
“Now we have someone interested in buying the property to build a new house there,” he told council members. “it’s the only vacant lot in that area, really.”
Plans are for a 1,610 square-foot home valued at approximately $130,000. Ready-to-build, the only hurdle remaining was the lien.
“It would take us about four years to recoup that money from ad valorem taxes,” Mayor Scott Owens noted.
There’s another perspective, too, for Gladewater City Manager Charlie Smith.
“We lost that already,” he told the council, after a dozen years of no tax gains. “Another four years is not going to hurt.”
Lien forgiveness is a normal thing for the city? council member Teddy Sorrells asked.
“It’s always a case-by-case basis on it,” Owens said. “You don’t want to forgive it then have something that’s not applicable to the neighborhood or is going to be detrimental to the value of other houses around it. At the same time, when we go in and demolish a house… it’s kind of a Catch-22.
“We want somebody to buy that and build something there and get it back on the tax rolls, but there’s always this little bit.
Ultimately, with ground-breaking imminent on the new home, council member Brandy Flanagan’s motion, seconded by Sonny Anderson, was unanimously approved.
“We look forward to a new house there,” Owens concluded.

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