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City of Decorah may purchase a house in order to demolish it

Posted: Tue, Dec 8, 2020 1:48 PM

A Decorah City Council committee has discussed an idea to buy a house in Decorah—and then tear it down.

The city's Economic Development & Property Committee is discussing the possible purchase of the home at 701 Maple Avenue.  The property was sold to a new owner in July, but that new owner might agree to sell the house to the city instead of spending money rehabilitating it.

If the City of Decorah did buy the property and tear down the house, City Administrator Chad Bird says it would then solicit proposals from developers interested in the property.  Bird says a new development might see property taxes on the property more than triple, since the value right now is just $28,000.  Bird says the idea—if successful—could then be used for two or three other unsightly properties in the city.