RDA targets 7 blighted properties for possible condemnation

List includes 5 properties owned by SIST
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The Shawano Redevelopment Authority has seven more properties in its crosshairs for possible condemnation proceedings, five of which are owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology.

The RDA, a semi-independent panel tasked with addressing vacant and blighted buildings in the city, has already initiated condemnation proceedings against two downtown SIST properties, but those proceedings are currently bogged down in circuit court after a legal challenge filed by SIST.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard, who provides staff support for the RDA, said it is still the authority’s preference to work with property owners to rehabilitate their buildings.

“We’ve reached out multiple times for all those properties, sent multiple letters, had communication with some but not really any action,” Sheppard said. “So the RDA will be taking steps to start the process, which could eventually lead to condemnation.”

Sheppard said condemnation is a last resort.

“Ideally, you’re able to have some kind of negotiation or some kind of agreement well before the condemnation stuff kicks in,” he said.

The issue with all seven of the properties is the blighted condition of the long-vacant buildings.

“It’s the same with all of them,” Sheppard said. “Long-term vacancy, very blighted and really no action having been taken in years.”

The RDA will meet at 7 a.m. Thursday at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St.

The agenda includes one unusual item for discussion and action, which would set a time limit for public comments and prohibit those comments from including “personal attacks on persons or entities.”

The meetings, often attended by SIST representatives, have had that problem in the past, Sheppard said.

“It has happened and it seems to be increasing,” he said. “We’re just taking steps to keep the meetings a little more on track.”

That item is scheduled on the agenda just before public comments.

The properties up for discussion on the RDA’s agenda Thursday include SIST properties at 311 E. Green Bay St., 201 N. Main St., 202 N. Washington St., 951 E. Green Bay St. and 1214 E. Green Bay St.

The other two properties include a former tavern at 135 N. Main St. and the former El Mariachi restaurant at 635 S. Main St.

The El Mariachi building used to belong to SIST before they lost it in foreclosure proceedings several years ago.

Condemnation proceedings initiated so far involve long-vacant SIST properties at 214-216 S. Main St. and 143-145 S. Main St., where building inspections have raised health and safety concerns.

The RDA is offering $37,000 to SIST for the 214-216 S. Main St. property, using the figure SIST provided in its own appraisal, and offering $46,000 for the real estate and buildings at 143-145 S. Main St., along with relocation expenses of $28,000.

The Hunan Chinese Restaurant currently leases the building at 145 S. Main St. from SIST. The building at 143 S. Main St. is vacant.