CLARKSVILLE — One local property owner’s refusal to remove rundown and vacant homes has left city officials considering legal action.
At Tuesday’s Clarksville City Council meeting, code enforcement officer Damien Carrasco said Dennis Wandrey, who has been directed by the council to demolish most of his 19 residential properties in the city, has taken no steps toward removing any of them, months after the council directed him to do so.
In April, the council ordered Wandrey to demolish six properties and clean up three more. Then, in May, the council ordered him to demolish 10 more properties. For each property, he was given either a 30- or 60-day period to get the work completed, with a fine of $100 per day per property to be added each day the work wasn’t completed after the deadline.
“I’ve been out to a few of the properties and seen the grass mowed, but no work has been made towards removing the homes,” he said.
As of Tuesday’s meeting, Wandrey’s total fine was $24,600, Carrasco said.
The code enforcement officer recommended the city pursue a civil suit against Wandrey, and councilors seemed open to the idea.
“At this point we can continue to charge the fees that are due, but it just doesn’t seem like work is being done at this point, and he still won’t get in contact with me,” Carrasco said.
“It’s not like we didn’t try to work with him,” Mayor Ann Rushing said.
Councilman Heath Humphrey made a motion to pursue legal action, which Councilwoman Pat Smith quickly seconded, but City Manager Julie Arrington told them they couldn’t take action on the recommendation until their next meeting, since it was only listed as a discussion item on the meeting’s agenda.
In recent months, the city has ordered several other property owners to similarly remove or repair rundown properties. After the meeting, Carrasco said most of the other property owners have already removed their properties.
“One man was in his 80s and removed his building himself,” Carrasco said.