Condemned property lives on in New RichmondThe owner of a condemned commercial building in New Richmond has been given 21 extra days to move his personal property.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
The owner of a condemned commercial building in New Richmond has been given 21 extra days to move his personal property.
A St. Croix County judge ruled that Vernon Borst would be given extra time to remove items from his business located at 648 W. Fourth St. The building has housed an antique and used equipment business operated by Borst for several years.
The structure, which has been slated for demolition for years, most recently faced a Nov. 29 raze date. But Borst sought more time through the courts and was given that opportunity.
“We have been working hard to get this issue resolved by Nov. 28,” said Mike Darrow, city administrator. “While we are disappointed in the judgment, we respect the legal process and the court’s ruling.”
Darrow said the city hopes to have a final resolution to this issue by Dec. 18. Darrow said a new letter would be sent to Borst and his wife, Carolyn, indicating that they have until Dec. 17 to remove items ahead of the expected demolition.
The Borst property saga dates back to 2001, two years after the rural Somerset couple purchased the property for $79,000. Borst was issued several citations in 2001 for code violations related to the building.
The city started putting more pressure on Borst to repair his building and clean up the exterior yard beginning in April 2006.
In September of that year, Borst was mailed a condemnation letter. City officials claimed the building was in poor condition and was not fit for human habitation, even though apartments in the structure were occupied at that time.
The situation led to a hearing before the New Richmond Board of Appeals on Nov. 27, 2006. Borst failed to attend the meeting, due to apparent confusion about the date of the hearing. At that hearing, the board voted to order the building’s demolition by Jan. 24, 2007.
After the scheduling snafu was uncovered, a new condemnation hearing was set for Dec. 11, 2006.
Borst was given 60 days to come up with a plan for repairing and improving the property. The deadline came and went and the Board of Appeals upheld the order to raze.
A year later, Borst was in St. Croix County Court to argue his case against the city. He said his wife, Carolyn, is co-owner of the building and never received separate notice of the previous Board of Appeals hearing.
When the raze order was upheld, Borst took the matter to the District III Court of Appeals. In 2009, the Appeals Court agreed that Carolyn Borst should have been sent a notice of any official proceedings.
The city remained undeterred, restarting the process for condemnation and issuing a raze order. A final raze order was issued in June of 2011 and a deadline was set for the building’s demolition.
After that happened, the Borsts again appealed to the Appeal Court, leading to a decision that the raze order be upheld.
Last month, Borst said he would consider further appeals in the matter, perhaps to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.