Coulee Dam rejected a bid of $21,000 to clean up a burned-out house at 611 Holly Street last Wednesday night. The lone bid had been submitted by Deckwa Construction, a Grand Coulee firm.
The council did so because they weren’t sure where the money would come from.
At issue also is how the town would recover the cost of cleaning up the property. One council member suggested that Okanogan County would probably end up owning the property because of unpaid taxes. The county wouldn’t pay off any lien the city would have on the cleanup effort.
Council members seemed to agree that the value of the property once it was cleaned up wouldn’t be much more than $7,000 - $8,000.
Council members suggested that the bid specifications be revisited to exclude the garage and a big tree that had some scorched limbs from the house blaze. The garage is still standing and wasn’t damaged from the fire.
The effort to clean up the property centered on the fact that the burned-out building was a safety concern for the town.
The fire occurred Sept. 18, 2012, and the cleanup issue becomes more clouded because it seems there is no owner of the house.
A relative of the former owner has paid the taxes in the past, but now doesn’t want anything to do with it.
The house used to belong to Red Sayler, who had ownership ties with the famous local restaurant, “The Green Hut.” Sayler is deceased and his son paid taxes for several years, Police Chief Pat Collins said at the time.
The burned-out house is still a safety issue, and it is difficult to see how the town is going to remove the albatross from its neck without it costing a lot of money.