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City accepts unusual house donations


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The City of Wausau has accepted more donated property. At this week’s council meeting, residential properties at 402 Chicago Avenue and 901 Stark Street were accepted.

Community Development Analyst Tammi Stratz says the Chicago Avenue property was offered by an elderly landlord who knew he couldn’t keep up with the maintenance anymore. “We talked at length to make sure he understood what he was doing, and we researched the property to see if it would be a good fit for our department to take over, so that we could rehabilitate it. It is a duplex right now. We can turn it back into a single-family and sell it to an income-qualifying household.”

Stratz says it is highly unusual for people to donate property, especially when it is in fairly good shape like this one. “We don’t want it to happen a lot. We don’t want to take possession of people’s properties. We don’t have a big budget to be able to do these types of things. We were just lucky enough that we had some program income that fits the needs of this house.”

The other property accepted was a foreclosed house at 901 Stark Street. Stratz says this one wasn’t in good shape at all. “After inspections of it, there’s way too much damage on it, so we’ll just probably demolish it, and hopefully rebuild in the next few years for a single-family home.”

The Stark Street property will likely have a new home built by students. The city already works with a construction trades program to build a house every other year, and Stratz says this property is a good candidate for that program.

Stratz says they were fortunate to have some federal funds available to take care of these two properties because the city can’t afford to take over too many properties.