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Silver Lake hits snags with obtaining derelict buildings

The city of Silver Lake has run into a couple of obstacles in the process of tearing down four buildings on Main Street.
At its meeting on Monday, March 20, the City Council heard that the city didn’t receive the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) loan that it had applied for. The loan would have provided funds for the demolition of the buildings with a low-interest loan with the possibility of forgiveness if the site was redeveloped within a certain time frame.
City Clerk Kerry Venier will contact DEED to look for other funding options. The demolition cost of the buildings could reach $100,000.
The second obstacle the city encountered is in the potential purchase of two adjacent buildings, which are connected to the two city-owned buildings.
One of the buildings is owned by Mayor Bruce Bebo.
 At the March 20 meeting, attorney Mark Ostlund, of the city’s legal advice firm, advised the council not to proceed with a purchase agreement with Bebo. After reviewing a legal opinion from the attorney general, he said that it is extremely difficult to purchase property from a council member or mayor without at least the perceived idea of a conflict of interest.
Ostlund suggested looking into acquiring the property by eminent domain.
Eminent domain gives  a government entity the right to take private property for public use with appropriate compensation.
The city hopes to start the demolition process of either two or four buildings this spring.

For more from the meeting, see the March 29 print edition of The Chronicle.