And then there was one.
Of the five blighted properties targeted for remediation by the City of Delta, only one appears to be viable. Three of the five properties identified by city staff are considered historic and would require extensive assessments. The fourth, the building at 520 Highway 92 formerly occupied by Odyssey Construction, is owned by Kevin Lee, who refuses to sell the property to the city.
Under the conditions of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the city has to own the property in order for grant funding to be used for remediation. Lee doesn't want to sell his property to the city, so that leaves only West's Home Center.
At a work session on Dec. 19, city manager David Torgler asked council to permit the city to submit a revised grant application that focuses only on the vacant West's on Main Street.
Council agreed, but not before hearing from Kevin Lee, who said he feels he is being "muscled" out of his property so the city can re-align Henry Street. The building at 520 Highway 92 is "solid as a rock," he said, and it would be ridiculous to level it.
Unfortunately, he can't use it for the purpose he intended, either.
His wife envisioned an antique store or coffee shop in the quonset hut, while he planned to use the fenced and covered area to the south to store equipment he uses to inspect power line poles. But the property is located in the B-2 zone, which precludes storage of construction and contractor's equipment. The building was used precisely for that purpose in the past, but sat vacant for quite some time; equipment storage is now considered a non-conforming use.
In addition, a property line survey revealed a portion of the building is built out into the street and into the setback.
Council member Ron Austin invited Lee to the work session to open a discussion into a possible land swap that would still allow the city to re-align Henry Street. "I know you've had some discussions and what you've heard left a bad taste in your mouth. I would like to see what we can do to help you, so you can ultimately help us as a city with your business."
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.