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Jasper nuisance house to be razed

This photo taken inside the condemned Jasper house shows the extent of the destruction. Debris covers the floor in the house, which will be torn down in approximately two weeks.

JASPER -- The residents of Jasper will soon be without a house that has been deemed as nothing less than a nuisance since its inhabitants left town more than a year ago.

On Tuesday night, the Jasper City Council voted to move forward with plans to demolish the house at 121 W. Third St., accepting a bid of $6,705 from Double D Gravel, Inc., of Pipestone, to complete the work.

Nobles-Rock Community Health Sanitarian Jason Kloss said the action follows an inspection completed by him and a declaration that the property violates the Community Health Act's Public Health Nuisance Abatement. A certified letter sent to the property owner was returned to NRCHS, and Kloss said there has been no contact between the owner and the City of Jasper to address the situation.

"The next step is getting the property ready for demolition," Kloss told the NRCHS board of directors Wednesday afternoon.

While public health has no financial stake in getting the property removed, Kloss is organizing a crew to go into the house to remove items such as furniture, clothing, and aluminum and tin cans.

Kris Rodman, city clerk/treasurer for the City of Jasper, said the Rock County Land Management Office will also go in to remove the paints and other chemicals that may be inside the home. The Jasper Fire Department will handle removal of all of the appliances, she added.

"It's just junky and a mess," Rodman said of the condition of the house.

"Definitely it was something that needed to be dealt with," said NRCHS Administrator Brad Meyer. He said the house -- with holes in the roof from a May 2007 fire and numerous windows broken out -- has been a haven for cats and other critters.

"We hope to have it torn down in a couple of weeks," said Rodman. "We've got to get a roll-off and get the utilities disconnected."

The City of Jasper has had to maintain the lot since the tenants of the house left last May. Rodman said it costs the city $50 each time they have to mow the lawn and an additional $300 to $400 to clean the lot.

"They've never paid taxes, they didn't pay for the fire or for the pickup fire that the husband had," Rodman said.

No taxes have been collected on the house for the past several years, and Rodman estimated it will be another two or three more years before the city will gain ownership of the parcel.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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