The Littlefield City Council held a public hearing on sub-standard property located at 204-210 Phelps Avenue in Littlefield. The meeting turned from ordinary rapidly.
City Manager Mitch Grant, gave the council a presentation showing council members the dangers the building poses. He went on to say the property fell within the definition of a substandard structure and asked for approval of the council to proceed with demolition. Among the substandard conditions were, structural, including failing roof, broken stucco, rotted and broken floors, missing ceiling and wall plaster, missing and broken windows, missing upstairs hall floor. Plumbing, including open sewer drain, absence of fixtures and cross connections. Electrical, including improper wiring, exposed wiring, open electrical boxes, and outdated wiring. The property has also suffered several fires.
Following the presentation, Al Olmstead took to the podium. Olmstead is a candidate for City Council District 1 seat against incumbent, Lottie Spencer. He is not the property owner, however, he says he has the authority of the property owner to authorize the city or anyone else to demolish the property. He said, the property is dangerous, saying demolition is not the issue. He said the city has fraudulently billed for water and sewer service on 32 properties in the older part of Littlefield. Olmstead, said that the city has known for 10 years that sewer service has not worked in that area. He went on to say, the city has still collected water, sewer and garbage collection on properties that are not even inhabitable. He said the city continues to collect utility fees on property which is uninhabitable. He has threatened a lawsuit against the city if they proceed.
Following the public hearing, the council approved a resolution to proceed with demolition.