LINCOLN - A grainery building on Lake Street in the village of Lincoln, unused for decades and in severe disrepair, became the property of Alcona County last year when the village rejected responsibility for it and now poses a problem for Alcona County commissioners who must either try to sell it or find money to demolish it.
County Commissioner Bill Thompson said the grainery fell out of use in the 1950s and has since been rented for storage purposes; it still contains old rough-cut lumber, brand new double-hung windows, restaurant supplies like dishes and glassware, and other property the county will dispose of in September or October either by auctioning it off or by committing it to a consignment auction.
Thompson said the former owner, an Oscoda resident, stopped paying taxes on the building in 2008 so it went on the market last year but received no bids. The county then inherited the property but did not claim ownership of the building's contents until the former owner turned down a request to remove them, and county commissioners want to sell off what they can.
"The building is very rotted, and what everyone says is it's going to have to be torn down sooner or later. We just hate to see the stuff destroyed, so by taking it out and putting it in auction, somebody might get a good deal out of some of the stuff," he said.
What happens to the building is anyone's guess at this point, because its condition makes it unsalvagable and a demolition would be costly.
"We're going to probably board it up again to keep it safe from the kids. We did it once before," Thompson said. "There are two ways: we can continue to let it go to auctions to see if someone will buy it, or we can start to set aside money in our budget for demolition and get it down to the point where it's safe, and then maybe someone would be interested in just the lot. It might be more marketable, because right now whoever buys, most likely they'll have to tear the structure down, and that's a cost to them."
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.