Sixth Street house facing demolition

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At the city council meeting Monday night, the update for the demolition of a house at 203 Sixth St. was discussed. Building Inspector Mike Czosnek said the house is a hazard to the public. According to Czosnek, the owner was notified about the demolition of the house through a notice posted on the door, and he received no response from the owner. The bid to demolish the house started at $5,000, said City Clerk Pat Salome.

At the city council meeting Monday night, the update for the demolition of a house at 203 Sixth St. was discussed. Building Inspector Mike Czosnek said the house is a hazard to the public. According to Czosnek, the owner was notified about the demolition of the house through a notice posted on the door, and he received no response from the owner. The bid to demolish the house started at $5,000, said City Clerk Pat Salome.

“We offer property rights to make sure it isn’t a safety or health hazard,” said Mayor Ravi Bhasker. “We have other problems that need to be cleared up.”

Bhasker said he needs evidence that the owner received notification, whether it was through email or a certified letter with a receipt.

Council members decided to move forward to demolish the house, but need a written statement or verification the owner saw the notice. The obligation is to eliminate a dangerous situation, Salome said. After demolition, the remainder of the building will be taken to the dump. They will clear the lot. However, it requires a lot more money to remove the concrete, Salome said.

The house caused concerns with neighbors because the previous owner abandoned the building. From January to March of this year, there have been 18 police reports relating to the house. Transients continue to use the home for shelter purposes.

The owner boarded the house up, but the transients made a hole in the wall.

During the public comments segment of the meeting, Al Smoake, volunteer kitchen manager at the Socorro Community Kitchen spoke.

“Our kitchen was the cleanest kitchen in New Mexico,” he said. “I am pleased with how things are operating.”

Within the last year, the Socorro Community Kitchen had the city supply windows and the electrical updated, Smoake said. The electrical system was limited in equipment, and the kitchen was awarded a $42,000 grant from the USDA.

Member of the Socorro Farmers Market Association Tom Hyden wrote $41,000 for the grant and Chamber of Commerce Director Terry Tadano wrote $21,000 for the grant as well. The grant was used to purchase new equipment. The kitchen has steady users such as two bakers, two chile processors and a jelly maker and annual users who have used the kitchen within the last year.

There are also a number of individuals who use the kitchen for personal use. The kitchen currently employs five individuals and is moving along because it meets all financial obligations, he said.

USDA sent two groups from Texas and Silver City who saw how the kitchen was operated and said the kitchen was a model community kitchen for the Southwest. An organic specialist from the USDA said the kitchen was the cleanest, Smoake said. Jellies from the kitchen are marketed in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and they also have outlets in San Antonio, Missouri, Arkansas, Arizona, Ohio and Texas. Open 24 hours a day, the Socorro Community Kitchen charges people to rent the kitchen. To rent the kitchen, members of the Socorro Farmer’s Market Association pay $15 per year. If a person isn’t a member, they charge $25 per year. They also charge by the hour, starting at $4, and not exceeding $20 a day.