Burned home to be rebornA historic New Richmond home will likely be rebuilt thanks to action taken by the City Council Monday.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
A historic New Richmond home will likely be rebuilt thanks to action taken by the City Council Monday.
Dennis and Leise Chrisco’s 100-year-old home at 425 W. Fifth St. was badly damaged in a fire Feb. 6.
But, according to their attorney Tim O’Brien, the structural integrity of the home is intact and the family hopes to rebuild.
The problem, however, is that city ordinances limit the rebuilding of some structures if the cost of the project will exceed half the assessed value of the building. O’Brien said the estimated cost of refurbishing the home will definitely exceed half its assessed value, but the family’s insurance company has agreed to pay for its restoration.
“This home is salvageable,” he said. “It can be returned to its former glory.”
O’Brien said the couple, who has four children, wants to start on the restoration as soon as possible with the hope that they can move back in this summer.
As the home is rebuilt, O’Brien noted, all of the electrical and plumbing will be brought up to code, making it a safer property.
City Attorney Ron Siler advised the council that the family may need to apply to the Board of Appeals in order to rebuild, if it’s determined that the home is a “nonconforming structure” within its residential lot.
But council members seemed intent to express their support for the idea of the project.
“I feel we should be so lucky as to have people who appreciate history,” Council member Kirk Van Blaircom said.
Alderman Jim Zajkowski said the home would be rebuilt within its current footprint, so there’s no reason to oppose it.
The council voted unanimously to approve the rebuilding of the home, assuming there are no legal hurdles that would prevent the project.
As the vote finished, Liese Chrisco clapped and wiped tears from her eyes. The family has been living in temporary quarters while waiting for approval of the home rebuilding project.