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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Neighbors concerned about abandoned burn-out

  • A house that sustained fire damage in July continues to sit abandoned, lowering property values and attracting thieves and curious children, the Rolla City Council heard Monday night, and the neighbors want something done about it ASAP.
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  • A house that sustained fire damage in July continues to sit abandoned, lowering property values and attracting thieves and curious children, the Rolla City Council heard Monday night, and the neighbors want something done about it ASAP.
    Roger Brown, 104 Steeplechase Road, spoke as a representative of the neighborhood. He read a letter signed by 11 residents, representing eight households on Steeplechase Road and Soest Road.
    Here is the text of the letter, titled "Letter of Neighborhood Concern about Recent Incidents at Abandoned 103 Steeplechase Residence":
    "Dear members of Rolla City Council,
    "We, the undersigned, wish to bring to the attention of the Rolla City Council several recent incidents that threaten our neighborhood. These incidents have occurred at the abandoned residence at 103 Steeplechase Road, site of a fire in the early hours of July 25 (lead article in July 26 edition of Rolla Daily News; also the site of a Jan. 7, 2013, raid by police and charge of felony class C theft).
    "There have been several recent sightings of unknown individuals entering and removing various items from the abandoned, partially boarded, unsecured residence (one or more windows plus a rear patio door had been left open).
    "In response to a 911 call, 5 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, officers of the Rolla Police Dept. apprehended in the house three intruders who were arrested and charged with attempted burglary.
    "It is our belief that the flurry of recent incidents at this abandoned fire-damaged residence poses two types of threats to the residents of the neighborhood.
    "The first and most important is a serious threat '… to the health, safety or welfare of the public …' as specified in Section 6-30.d.iii. of the City of Rolla Municipal Code.
    "Second, these recent incidents may adversely affect the resale value of homes in our neighborhood.
    "In view of these incidents and attendant consequences, we hereby ask that the Rolla City Council immediately address this problem and take appropriate corrective actions to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the Steeplechase Hills neighborhood."
    In response to questions from the council, Capt. Ron Smith, of the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, said the fire has been ruled incendiary by the State Fire Marshal's Office, and it remains under investigation by state and local authorities.
    With the fire still under investigation, no insurance payments have been sent to the owner, named as Kenneth Gorman at the council meeting. Consequently, no repairs can be made.
    "This is beyond our control," Mayor Bill Jenks told Brown.
    Fat Cats complaint
    On another, separate complaint brought before the council, Jim Corey, 414 Bill Ave., said Fat Cats Entertainment Center continues to be a nuisance to him.
    Corey described a Friday night when he came home tired from a particularly strenuous roofing job. He went to bed early, but was awakened at 8:30 p.m. by the loud noise of a party outside Fat Cats.
    Page 2 of 2 - He called the Rolla Police Department and an officer said a warning would be issued, but Corey said, "I want to sign a complaint."
    Corey also said, "I like my house, but it's going up for sale as soon as I find good realtor."

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