published Friday, January 20th, 2012

Though bids are low, some properties have a story

At least one parcel on the county's February property sale list has created extra work for at least three Hamilton County offices for more than a year.

The burned-out structure at 1808 Crabtree Road in Hixson has been on the radar for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department's environmental services team, the county trustee and the office of real property.

The county acquired the property in June 2010 after no outside bidders purchased it at a tax sale conducted by the trustee's office after years of failed efforts to collect back taxes on it.

The office of real property is trying to encourage someone to buy it next month. Hamilton County Commissioners on Wednesday confirmed the minimum bid on the 40-by-60 foot property will be $500.

Bonnie Deakins, head of the health department's environmental services office, said she began receiving complaints from neighbors about the property before the county took possession.

"When we first got the complaint, it was a burn out," Deakins said.

The property first had to be investigated by the fire marshal. Then Deakins said her office began working with the property's former owner to clean up public safety hazards identified by her office.

"He would abate the most hazardous conditions and then quit. He was still hanging around there," she said. "Then he lost the property."

A travel trailer is parked next to the structure.

Deakins said when neighbors call now, she tells them that the county will begin working with the new owners when it's sold. She refers them to real property or the county attorney's office.

"I understand their frustrations," she said of neighbors. "Hopefully somebody will buy it."

The photograph that appeared on Page A1 in Wednesday's Times Free Press identified as 1808 Crabtree Road mistakenly displayed the house next door.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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