Council expresses concern on blight from fires

LINCOLN — The Lincoln Village Council will work to address properties that are considered blight after fires occurred within the village limits.

Councilwoman Bonnie Gauthier expressed her concern with a property that burned more than a year ago and has remained in place without a cleanup. The discussion was Monday during a Lincoln Village Council meeting.

She said that location was near the former Iron Skillet Restaurant, which also burned in August and is still under an insurance investigation after an alleged arson of the property.

Last week a third fire within the village occurred on a private residence on Main Street.

“I know there are investigations and everything going on but do we have any idea of when some cleanup could be done? I know not on the Main Street fire because I know that is too soon,” she said. “I’m just afraid of the animals that could get into these buildings, and that house that is behind the Iron Skillet has been burnt for a long time now. As you drive around the village it’s looking pretty bad with all of the burned out buildings.”

Gauthier said, however, that she did not want to seem insensitive to anyone having to deal with a loss as the result of a fire.

Village President Phil Jordan said there already is something in the works to get at least the burned house near the Iron Skillet cleaned up. He said he talked to officials about getting it ordered to be cleaned.

Jordan said he did not press the issue of the home being cleaned up because there was interest in the property.

“I kind of slowed down on that because early spring I got a call from a company that was considering buying that, and they were going to clean it up and get a new home there. I don’t know if it was a modular home or what,” Jordan said.

He said that there has been no recent movement on that and he will go forward with having the house cleaned up by owners.

It also could be a while until the Iron Skillet property is cleaned. Village Attorney David Cook said he knows the building is remaining standing as the owners are working with their insurance company to get a payout for the fire.

Jordan said he recently had a conversation with the Iron Skillet property owners about the fire and to generally see how they were doing after the incident.

He said he was assured the property would be taken care of as soon as possible and the maintenance on the grounds would be continued. Jordan said overall the village will get cleaned up after recent fires.

“We will make progress on that, little bit by little bit,” he said.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.