A.   Procedure For Ordering Demolition Or Repair: The corporate authority of the city may demolish, repair or cause the demolition or repair of dangerous and unsafe buildings or uncompleted and abandoned buildings. No building may be boarded up or otherwise enclosed. The corporate authority shall apply to the circuit court of the county in which such building is located for an order authorizing such action to be taken with respect to any such building if the owner or owners thereof, including the lien holders of record, after at least fifteen (15) days' written notice by mail so to do, have failed to put such building in a safe condition or to demolish it. It is not a defense to such cause of action that the building is boarded up or otherwise enclosed nor may the court order such building boarded up or otherwise enclosed. Where, upon diligent search, the identity or whereabouts of the owner or owners of any such building including the lien holders of record is not ascertainable, notice mailed to the person or persons in whose name such real estate was last assessed is sufficient notice under this section. The hearing upon such application to the circuit court shall be expedited by the court and shall be given precedence over all other suits. The cost of such demolition or repair incurred by the city or by a lien holder of record is recoverable from the owner or owners of such real estate and is a lien thereon, which lien is superior to all prior existing liens and encumbrances; provided that, within sixty (60) days after such repair or demolition, the municipality or the lien holder of record who incurred such cost and expense shall file notice of lien of such cost and expense incurred in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county in which the real estate is located. The notice must consist of a sworn statement setting out: 1) a description of the real estate sufficient for identification thereof; 2) the amount of money representing the cost and expense incurred; and 3) the date or dates when the cost and expense was incurred by the municipality or by the lien-holder of record. Upon payment of the cost and expense by the owner of or persons interested in the property after notice of lien has been filed, the lien shall be released by the city or person in whose name the lien has been filed and the release may be filed of record as in the case of filing notice of lien. The lien may be enforced by proceedings to foreclose as in the case of mortgages or mechanics' liens. An action to foreclose this lien may be commenced at any time after the date of filing of the notice of lien. (Ord. 4153, 12-8-1976; amd. Ord. 4474, 9-27-1979; Ord. 5468, 8-8-1990)
   B.   Bond For Repair Of Posted Properties: After fifteen (15) days' written notice to the owner or owners of the corporate authority's intention to demolish, repair or cause the demolition or repair of a dangerous and unsafe building or uncompleted or abandoned building, and where the owner or owners thereof have failed to notify the corporate authority, in writing, within said fifteen (15) days, of their intention to repair such building, a cash bond in the amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) shall be required prior to the issuance of a building permit therefor.
   In all cases, whether or not a bond is required as stated hereinabove, a City building inspector shall inspect the said building and list the repairs required to be made thereto to secure the property so as to no longer be a dangerous and unsafe building or a nuisance as defined in the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alton. Said repairs must be completed within sixty (60) days of issuance of the building permit; and furthermore, in every case the building shall be brought up to code within six (6) months after the building permit is issued. If all such repairs are completed and the building is brought up to code as aforesaid, the cash bond will be refunded to the owner or owners. If, however, the owner or owners fails to so complete the repairs or bring the building up to code, then and in that event the cash bond shall be forfeited to and become property of the City.
   The City shall give a fifteen (15) day notice to the owner or owners by regular mail directed to the last address on file with the Building & Zoning Department that the bond shall be forfeited. The owner or owners may request in writing a hearing on the question of forfeiture if the written request is delivered to the Building & Zoning Department within said fifteen (15) days. If a hearing is requested, a hearing officer shall be appointed by the Mayor. The hearing officer shall not be an employee of the Building Department but may be an employee of the City of Alton. (Ord. 6039, 1-24-1996; amd. Ord. 7800, 3-25-2021)