RICHMOND, Ind. — Yolanda Hurd bought a house from the county, but she didn’t know the city had ordered its demolition.
“I thought that was wrong,” Hurd told Wayne County’s commissioners during their weekly Wednesday meeting.
Hurd paid $1,200 during a June 2 commissioners deed sale for the property at 1226 Liberty Ave. Unknown to her, the city of Richmond during May had declared the property’s 1,082-square-foot house unsafe and ordered it be razed.
Now, Hurd wants her money back.
Commissioner Ken Paust said that he opens all deed sales with a speech about buyers being aware that once a property is purchased it’s theirs. He said the auctioneer also pointed out the four properties subject to city orders; however, Hurd said she didn’t hear that about the property she bought.
Since the June purchase, Hurd has cut the property’s grass — to avoid any potential fine — and tried to return the property to the county. A lien for demolition costs would be placed against the property, so if Hurd ever sells it, that money would be taken from the sale price.
County property records list the 0.499-acre homesite worth $9,730.
Ron Cross, the county’s attorney, said the county is not legally obligated to assist Hurd, and in fact, he’s not sure the county lawfully can help her. Commissioners asked Cross to check into possible remedies and told Hurd they would update her.
Later during their meeting, commissioners discussed modifications to their deed sale procedures. Commissioner Jeff Plasterer said the commissioners don’t want to take advantage of anyone. Commissioner Mary Anne Butters said they are obligated to communicate better when a property is under city orders.
A sale sheet is distributed at the deed sales, and commissioners agreed that any city orders should be included on that sheet.
The commissioners unanimously supported the city of Richmond receiving title to Midwest Industrial Park land the county purchases.
Wayne County Council also supported that idea Aug. 3. Commissioners had delayed action that day until they could consult with the county attorney.
The county is purchasing 160 acres west of Round Barn Road and the city is purchasing 166 acres east of Round Barn to form the industrial park’s third phase. Allowing the city to have title to the entire 326 acres makes it easier for the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County to eventually sell the land to businesses.
The United Kennel Club will find better showers when it returns Labor Day weekend to the Wayne County Fairgrounds for its annual Autumn Oaks event.
Commissioners unanimously approved spending $8,200 to prepare and paint the shower building before the large Sept. 1-4 event.
Butters said the UKC has “expressed great disappointment” in the past because of the shower building’s condition. Steve Higinbotham, the county’s director of facilities and development, received assurance Wednesday the project would be completed prior to Autumn Oaks.
Funding will come from the building and grounds budget, but that budget’s expenditure could be replaced by money from First Bank Richmond’s first donation in its 10-year, $1 million fairgrounds naming rights agreement.
Craig Eason, the county’s IT director, received the commissioners permission to request a new website domain.
Eason will request “wayne.in.gov” from the state. The state would host the new domain and provide backups.
The county’s current “co.wayne.in.us” is a GoDaddy domain. It is all in code; whereas, the new domain would not be code, making it easier to manage and update.
Paust said that if the new domain was more efficient and save money, it is the way to go. The transition, however, will take time to transition all web pages and county email addresses.