Photos courtesy of the city of Brentwood
By RACHAEL LONG
After an August 2018 house fire destroyed a home in the Governor’s Club subdivision, the city of Brentwood has ordered its structural remains be demolished.
During the City Commission on Monday night, commissioners will hear a resolution authorizing a contract with Contractor Services Unlimited, Inc., to move forward with the demolition.
The home sits at 7 Medalist Court, and the city details that the structure “was badly damaged” in the fire and “determined to be a total loss.” City Manager Kirk Bednar said the cause of the fire is still unknown, pending investigations.
“The owners … essentially have done nothing with it,” Bednar said at Thursday’s City Commission briefing.
According to the city, efforts have been made to contact the responsible property owner, Stacey Stevens, about erecting a fence around the ruins for security reasons. These efforts have been unsuccessful.
The home’s condition has been described as “unstable” and a safety concern for neighbors. During the fire and in the days immediately following it, the structure saw wall and floor collapses, according to the city’s report.
The Brentwood Board of Construction Appeals (BBCA) determined in February that the home’s structural remains were “unfit and unsafe for human occupancy.” City staff were directed by the BBCA to issue a complaint to all parties with an interest in the property, and to recommend a hearing date, which was scheduled for March 25.
According to the city, a complaint was sent to the owners of the property and parties with an interest (i.e. Bank of America as the mortgagee and the Governors Club Property Owners Association). The complaint was also published in the newspaper and filed at the Registrars Office of Williamson County.
A final order that the structural remains at 7 Medalist Court were unfit and unsafe for human occupancy was issued by the BBCA at the March 25 hearing. City staff recommended that the BBCA also issue an order for the structure to be demolished and the property secured within 60 days. The 60-day time period was up on May 28, according to the city’s report.
In the anticipation that property owners would not take action to demolish the structure, city staff took its own steps to prepare for the demolition. In doing so, staff prepared an invitation to bid and specifications for the structure’s removal.
The lowest bidder of three firms, by far, was Contractor Services Unlimited, Inc. Bednar said the bid was “significantly low,” so much so that it gave city staff pause. After checking some of the firm’s references — including a project it did for the Tennessee Department of Transportation — Bednar said staff decided to recommend a contract with the firm.
The resolution commissioners will hear Monday night is a contract with the firm for “option one,” or the “complete demolition of [the] structure and grading of [the] property back to [its] natural contour.”
The cost of the demolition to the city is $39,660, should commissioners approve the resolution Monday night. In an attempt to recover the expenses associated with demolition, Bednar said the city will bill the property owners and place a lien on the property, making it a subordinate lienholder. As such, the city’s lien will be satisfied only after other previously filed liens (i.e., the mortgage) are paid in full.
If the mortgage is not paid off, Bednar said the city may not recover its expense.
“We had hoped to have some resolution to that, quite frankly, before we brought this to you,” Bednar told commissioners Monday. “But we don’t. And again, we just don’t think it’s fair to the people out there to just let that sit while who knows how long something like that [takes to] get resolved.”