Main Street Building to be Demolished

After years of remaining in disrepair, and transferring from one owner to another, the building at 417 S. Main Street will be torn down, with the Fort Scott City Commission’s decision to go through with the condemnation during their recent meeting.

During that meeting, Autumn Durossette and her brother, Denver Mitchell, approached the commission with a desire to purchase the home, to try to repair it and then rent it out, as they have done with 13 other structures. While the commission expressed gratitude for the work they have done, they decided not to accept that request as the building was already condemned to demolition.

“I am not in support of rescinding your motion,” Codes Manager Rhonda Dunn said, adding she is grateful for the work done in Fort Scott by Durossette and Mitchell. “This house has been a struggle for us for quite a while.”

The home has suffered damage from two fires and has structural issues that have led to uneven floors. The fire department, in their inspections, also discovered some termite damage. Delinquent property taxes are also owed.

Durossette said she had a number of inspectors and contractors examine the house, located across the street from the Unified School District Education Building, and said they believed they would be able to correct the foundation and other problems of the home and make it attractive once more.

“They need work, but these bones are good,” Mitchell said of the base structure of the home, saying most of the work needed concerns surface repairs.

The commission decided to not take any action, thus upholding the previous condemnation, stating they trust their staff’s recommendation and do not desire to set a precedent of rescinding the condemnation of homes in Fort Scott.

The commission first approved the condemnation and demolition of the house in 2016, and it is now ready for demolition as the city received a bid. The file on the building’s code violations stretch back for more than a decade.

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