Moberly City Council Continues Home Demolitions for Safer Community

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MOBERLY — The Moberly City Council passed five ordinances Tuesday night in relation to the recent demolition of five vacant, unrepairable homes in the city. 

The passing of the ordinances issued a special tax bill, which is already worked into the city budget to pay for the demolitions. Mayor Bob Riley said the city budgets around $100,000 for the demolitions each year.

Riley said this demolition process began about eight years ago when the city strengthened its housing codes. Since then, an average of 20 homes violate this code and are subject to demolition per year.

"A lot of the time, the city tears down the homes that can't be repaired and end up with the property sold back at an auction, or to the neighbors who like having more room," Riley said. "In many cases we wind up splitting the land in half and either selling it or giving it to each of the residents on each side so that the city doesn't have to take care of the mowing." 

This way, Riley said it gets put back on the taxpayer roll which is better for the city. 

Riley said he hopes the city will soon demolish fewer homes.

"Our ultimate goal is to tear down what needs to be torn down," Riley said. "With the new ordinance to keep the property up to code we'll get to the point where one of these days we won't have to tear down anymore because all of the homes will be livable and in good condition." 

The total cost of the combined demolitions for this quarter averaged more than $20,000.