Demolition Banned If Taxes Are Owed

Camden Courier-Post – February 4, 1938

Hartmann Refuses to Issue Permits Unless – Liens Are Settled

Permits for demolition of houses or buildings will be refused to owners unless all taxes and. other municipal liens are paid in full, Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, director of public works, has announced.

In announcing a new department policy, Hartmann said he intended to rigidly enforce the order.

As a result of the ruling the city treasury was enriched $740 yesterday when owners of two dilapidated houses at Seventeenth and Federal Streets paid that sum in order to obtain a permit for demolition of the property.

The City Commission last week approved an ordinance empowering Hartmann to proceed with the work of property demolition when any property is declared unsafe and a menace to life or limb or where a property becomes a fire menace.

Many owners of property have proceeded with demolition work and it was later found taxes and other liens were unpaid,” Hartmann said. “This practice will not be tolerated in the future.

“I have instructed my secretary, William J. Palladino, who is in charge of the building bureau, that no permits for property demolition shall be issued until it is determined if taxes and other liens are paid.

“In the case of the two Federal Street houses we found the amount owing to the city was $740. A permit for demolition of the property was withheld. By this action the city received a substantial sum of money.”

Hartmann said he is making a survey of all properties in the city to determine the number that are unsafe and dangerous.

Inspectors of the building bureau will furnish him with a list of such dangerous property with the amounts in each case of taxes, water rents and other liens unpaid.

“The city will be able not only to get rid of dilapidated, unsafe and untenantable properties but will at the same time collect a substantial sum of money during the year when these liens are paid,” Hartmann declared. He estimated more than 500 pieces of property either should be rebuilt and made safe or should be razed.


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