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Court allows inspection of Webster Avenue house

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Owner wants 45 days to make improvements to exterior

By Becky Barnes, Editor

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He’s owned the property at 116 Webster Ave. for six years, but Tim Lesak is asking for another 45 days to bring the eyesore to city standards.

However, a court-ordered inspection of the home on Tuesday morning resulted in a stop work order from the state plumbing inspector.

Lesak said in a Wednesday morning telephone interview that there has been one obstacle after another since purchasing the triplex in 2008.

Making the Tuesday morning property inspection were representatives from the city, code enforcement board, Wedco health department and the building inspector. They met with a representative for Lesak at the property. 

Cynthiana City Commissioner Billy Grayson said the city has been working on getting the property cleaned up for nearly five years.

“I hope that we can bring that thing down,” said Grayson during a meeting following the inspection.

During the inspection, Grayson noted that termites had destroyed much of the interior frame as well as the wood flooring.

The flooring had been ripped up in two rooms, showing the dirt and debris. Walls were torn out, three commodes sat in rooms where wiring and plumbing were exposed.

Grayson said in the early stages of his quest to have something done with the property, he met with Lesak, who gave him a graph indicating the time line for property improvements.

“I thought we had made some progress,” Grayson said.

Lesak said that when he purchased the property in 2008, his now ex-wife had control of the management. 

Two people he described as “pill heads,” moved in and destroyed the interior of the house.

Once Lesak was able to get those people out, a vagrant moved in with his girlfriend and wouldn’t leave.

Finally, he said, he sold the property on a land contract to an individual who agreed to move out the squatter and make improvements.

“He paid for the first few months and then he just paid a little here and there,” Lesak said. However, he needed someone on the property to keep another transient from moving in.

He said it took awhile to get the person out of the house who had not met the land contract.

“They dug holes in the back yard seining for marbles instead of working on the house,” Lesak said. “It’s just been one mess after another.”

All along, Lesak said, he has been meeting his $600 monthly mortgage on the house.

In May, Lesak had another buyer for the home. The individual agreed to the land contract.

The man came in, removed all of the aluminum siding and anything else that could be scrapped, and hasn’t been heard from since.

Lesak said he knows the property is an eyesore to the  neighbors.

Rather than start on the inside and work his way out, Lesak said he would be willing to make improvements to the outside if he has a 45-day stay from condemnation in writing.

Code enforcement officer Wayland Quisenberry said he had stopped adding penalties to the property pending direction from the city. He said there is already over $7,000 in penalties added to a lien on the property.

Quisenberry was advised to continue with penalties at $100 per day until the house is brought into compliance.

Commissioner Gary Brunker asked Isaac Hughes, building inspector, if he was able to condemn the house.

 Hughes said the state building code did not have any provisions for that. He said the city attorney would have to advise commissioners how it should proceed.