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Hartselle council gives man 2nd extension to repair home

By Deangelo McDaniel · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — A Hartselle man who has been on the city’s nuisance list since 2003 will get an extension to abate the nuisance.

But if Ronald Hammon of 802 Rhodes St. has not “substantially” repaired his home within 30 days, the council will demolish it.

“We’re getting complaints from residents, and we need you to complete this,” Council President Kenny Thompson said.

“If we revisit in 30 days, we need to see something substantially complete,” Councilman Bill Smelser said.

Jeff Johnson of the Department of Development said he notified Hammon in November 2003 that his home did not comply with city codes and that it was a health and safety hazard.

The previous administration took no action on the matter. But when the current administration took office in 2004, Mayor Dwight Tankersley said he asked Johnson to investigate a complaint about Hammon’s home.

Abatement notice

Johnson mailed Hammon an abatement notice in April. The homeowner appealed the notice to the council, saying his home is “sound as a dollar,” and one of the best-built structures in Hartselle.

In May, Johnson showed the council a series of pictures made in 2003 and 2007. The home looked almost the same. That was when the council gave Hammon 120 days to make improvements.

He has made progress, but he didn’t meet the Sept. 7 deadline.

Hammon pleaded his case to the council during a Monday work session. He said he bought the home in 1974 when he was 19 and is the oldest resident on Rhodes Street.

He told the council that a number of failed business ventures have almost thrown him into bankruptcy and that he doesn’t have the money to complete the repairs on the city’s timeline.

“I’ve done everything I possibly can,” he said. “I work on it every day. I’ve got enough material to keep me busy another couple of weeks.”

“Personally, I’d like to see you finish the house because I don’t want to have to use city money to tear it down,” Thompson said.

Johnson said he met with Hammon on Friday, but couldn’t get a timeline on completing the work.

Hammon wanted until Christmas to complete the project.

“Nobody in Hartselle wants this done more that I do,” he said.

In a letter to the city, Hammon said he has purchased most of the materials he needs to make repairs.

“However, progress will slow substantially when ladders and/or scaffolding is required for the second story,” he said.

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