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UPDATE: City needs no action on Morales home

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

A dispute between Morris homeowners, their mortgage company and insurer has been resolved, and the family's decimated home will be razed.

Tari and James Morales' home was destroyed by fire and smoke and water damage in late July.

However, the insurer initially didn't consider the property a total loss and the mortgage company was not going to let the Moraleses raze the home because the insurance payout was less than what was owed on the mortgage.

But Morris City Attorney Charles Glasrud said Tuesday at the City Council's meeting that the Moraleses, the mortgage and insurance companies reached an agreement and the house will be torn down next week.

"I'm convinced it will be fine," said Glasrud, who noted that he spoke with Tari Morales on Tuesday about the agreement.

The City Council on Tuesday was prepared to considered issuing an order to raze the home on 462nd Street in Morris.

Citing city code and state statutes, Glasrud stated in a letter to the adjuster for Morales' insurance company that the home was a hazard and needed to be removed.

In the letter, Glasrud noted that Morris Fire Chief Doug Storck spoke with John Steinback of the State Fire Marshall's office, and that Steinback said, "It's a wreck, it's got to come out, there's is nothing to salvage."

The insurer told Glasrud that the foundation was sound and could not be considered a total loss.

However, Glasrud stated in his letter that the house should be razed to the foundation, at least.

"We need to do something about this hazardous structure as soon as possible," Glasrud wrote.