Adams said if the county does tear down an uninhabitable structure, it will file a lien against the property for the cost of the demolition, and then force a sale of the property so the county can be paid back.
County Attorney Daryl Day said based on other liens against the property, the sale of the property might not generate enough money to pay back all the lien-holders, and as the last one to place a lien on the property, the county will be the last to receive its money back.
Because of this, the county does research before any such demolition to make sure it's at least going to get some of the cost recouped, Day said.
Even if the full cost of a demolition won't be recouped, it may still be "the right thing to do" because getting rid of the uninhabitable building and forcing sale of the property will still help improve property values, Day said.
Adams said some uninhabitable structures are owned by banks, while others are properties with multiple heirs, none of which are interested in the property.
The amendment approved by the court allows Brown, a certified inspector, to declare a structure uninhabitable and inform the nuisance board.
Before the county reaches the point of tearing down an uninhabitable structure, the nuisance board first contacts the owner of the property, giving them notice of the issues with the property and time to fix the problems, Day said.
If the problems aren't fixed within the specified time, the nuisance board can ask the owner to come in and offer an explanation for why the work hasn't been done, Day continued.
Finally, if the explanation isn't satisfactory, the nuisance board can take further action, again with prior notice, Day said.
"This change in the ordinance is a step in the right direction," he said.
Once the county is in a position to destroy an uninhabitable property, an attorney will research the property's title and find out what other liens against the property might exist so the county can determine how much of the cost it would get back from the forced sale of the property, Adams said.
Adams said if the county starts demolishing uninhabitable buildings and discovers it’s going to cost a lot of money, the fiscal court would probably call a halt to the whole thing.
Radio feature approved
The court approved 2-1 spending $125 per month for a year to subsidize a radio spot discussing animal issues, including things like fleas and spaying and neutering.
The spots on WPBK will feature Veterinarian Jonathan Alford and will promote the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
Alford will pay 80 percent of the $500 per month the spot will cost and the county will pay 20 percent.
Magistrate David Faulkner said he's hopeful the $150 per month for promotion will lead to savings in the thousands for the animal shelter.
"Let's give it a shot," Faulkner said. "If it doesn't work at the end of the year, then let's stop doing it."
Faulkner and Magistrate Johnnie Padgett voted yes on the motion; Magistrate Joe Stanley voted no.
In other business, the fiscal court approved a new bid that will allow the county to pay approximately $6 less per ton for road salt than it did last year.