DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - Owners of a century-old historic house in Deadwood have neglected the property and allowed it to fall into disrepair, according to city officials.
The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission recently approved giving the historic house the status of “demolition by neglect,” the Black Hills Pioneer reported. The status orders the property’s owners, Marsha and Wyatt Morris, to create a plan to address the building’s deteriorated condition within 30 days and complete the plan within 90 days.
The designation under city ordinance gives the Historic Preservation Commission authority to identify and protect resources that might potentially be demolished from the owners’ deliberate, intentional or inadvertent neglect.
Deadwood officials inspected the property after receiving complaints in May that the house creates a safety hazard in the neighborhood and appears in danger of collapse.
Marsha Morris said they’re doing their best and have invested $100,000 into the house. Morris said she has been having trouble completing repair work because a neighbor won’t allow access from their side of the property, which is needed to address issues.
“As far as neglect, my husband fell this spring . so we have been doing this on a budget,” Marsha Morris said. “I am the only one working. With the 90 days, I don’t know how we’re going to do that with winter.”
Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker said he believes the owners “need to put some of the work toward the outside and not worry about the inside at this time, since it’s not leaking, and try to get the outside in a better state of repair.”
Wyatt Morris promised to fix the issues on the outside of the house.
Building Inspector Trent Mohr will work with the couple to compile a list of repairs over the 30-day period.
Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com
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