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Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

Council gives OK to clean up structures on Felker Street

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

SIKESTON -- The city has waited long enough to clean up federally-owned property on Felker Street.

City Council members approved a resolution during their regular meeting Monday authorizing the emergency demolition and cleanup of structures on the west side of the 200 block of Felker Street which city officials have determined present a health and safety hazard.

The buildings became the property of the federal government after they were seized by the Department of Justice in 2002 when the owners went to trial on federal drug charges.

The initial plan was for the city to use the buildings as a police substation but officials in Washington, D.C., said it was not an acceptable use for the building.

Mayor Mike Marshall said federal authorities allowed the property to deteriorate since then and they are not fit to be used as a community building, which the federal government said is the only acceptable use.

"The buildings are no longer salvageable," said Drew Juden, director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.

U.S. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Meyer advised in an e-mail that he has contacted the Marshals Service about the conditions of the buildings.

"The property belongs to the United States, so no one is authorized to tear down the buildings," he wrote. "Please do not allow anyone onto the property."

According to Meyer's e-mail, "Washington has provided the local Marshals Service Office with guidance on getting the property transfered to the city of Sikeston." Meyer said he will forward the requirements for getting the property transfered to the city when he gets them.

"I understand the urgency of this matter and all parties are acting accordingly," Meyer wrote.

Marshall said the resolution will let federal authorities know the city intends to tear the buildings down soon although demolition will not begin immediately.

Several city officials and citizens commented that no other property owner, be they an individual or business, would be allowed to keep property in that condition.

"We're ready to move forward," Marshall said.