As the city of Camdenton ushers in its newly formed flexible zoning laws, a main priority for city officials is to remove dilapidated housing in hopes of building anew on the existing property.

As the city of Camdenton ushers in its newly formed flexible zoning laws, a main priority for city officials is to remove dilapidated housing in hopes of building anew on the existing property. Currently, Camdenton has 29 vacant, dilapidated houses that are in need of demolition due to breaking of city code, as explained by Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments Executive Director Linda Conner. 

She says that, in order for the homes to qualify for this purpose, they must have been vacant for over 12 months. Chasity Ivey, Camdenton Code and Fire Official, and Dennis Croxton, City Building Official, explained that the city uses the 2012 international property maintenance code to evaluate homes in town. This code is a standard used to qualify houses within city codes to see if they are considered dilapidated. This includes looking for elements such as broken windows, holes in the roof, and more. The 12 month vacancy is proven through utility records. 

The next step in fulfilling this goal is to attempt to earn a federal grant for demolition costs. City Administrator Jeff Hancock says that the grant is extremely competitive across the state and the likelihood of being awarded it is low. He says the total grant allowance is near $125,000. Even so, the city is doing everything they can to be in the running. 

The owners of these 29 houses have been reached out to by the city in order to get their participation in this goal. Each property owner has the chance to submit a $500 entry fee to this grant and become a part of the demolition plans if the grant succeeds. After the money is received, Hancock says around $2,500 will go towards each property.

Conner says that they want to receive submissions from at least 17 of the 29 owners in order to show the state how needed this grant is. However, the closer they can get to 29, the better. They currently have 16 property owners signed up. 

“It will be helpful to the city overall is we are able to get as many people on board with this as possible,” Conner said. 

The grant proposal must be submitted by the city by Apr. 3. The land left behind after demolition is up to the discretion of the owner as to what it will be used for. Hancock says the city is hoping to build new housing to go along with their comprehensive plan and is willing to assist in future development. The city is also considering what the cost will be to deal with water, sewer, and possible asbestos issues after demolition. 

Though this is voluntary, city officials hope more of these property owners will step forward and contribute to the cause. If the city succeeds in securing the grant, Conner believes the project should be completed in around 12 months after funds have been received. However, there is currently no official timeline for this project.