The removal of a condemned home on Defiance’s Hopkins Street began Tuesday.

Located at 425/427 Hopkins St., the rental residence had become “unlivable,” according to Defiance Mayor Mike McCann.

The home was condemned by the city’s nuisance abatement board earlier this year, he indicated. This followed complaints from residents and At-large Councilman Steve Waxler who brought the matter up during city council meetings.

McCann said a variety of animals were believed to have been living in the home or coming and going from it, including groundhogs, raccoons and cats.

“In the 10 minutes I was there I saw half a dozen cats run from underneath,” he recalled.

McCann said the home — owned by Guy Hill of Napoleon — had been vacant for about a year and has had no utilities hooked up.

“It was a mess,” the mayor said, relying on the city’s zoning commissioner, Rex Robison, in making that assessment. “He told me it was bad. It was unlivable and beyond repair, and structurally unsound.”

The home had come to the administration’s attention some time ago, according to McCann, but the process for removing homes in such a manner takes approximately six months to complete. Within that process, a property owner is afforded an opportunity to appeal a nuisance finding made by the city.

The city contracted with J & N Builders of Defiance for the home’s removal. The cost is $12,775.

This amount will be handled by the city up front, according to McCann, but will be assessed to the property owner’s taxes with the city retaining a lien on the land until the bill is paid.

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