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County agrees to pay half of the cost to tear down Owl’s Nest building

by Kim Ukura

Forum News Service

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners will help pay for the cost of taking down the old “Owl’s Nest” building in Hancock.

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, Hancock Mayor Bruce Malo asked the board to pay for demolishing the building, which is a tax forfeited property. Malo said the Hancock Economic Development Authority is not financially able to take down the building themselves.

“This is not something that we’ve just jumped into,” said Malo. “I think it’s a real health hazard.”

The low bid for demolition is $27,905 from Riley Brothers.

Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan told the board that the property belongs to the state, but through statute the county administers to the sale of the property.

Jordan said he couldn’t find any laws that indicated the county needs to tear the building down, but noted that in the past the county has taken some dilapidated buildings down in the area.

Although board members indicated they were concerned about the possible precedent of helping with the demolition cost, they voted to pay for 50 percent of the bid amount on the project.