§ 12-22  REMOVAL OF UNSAFE AND DILAPIDATED STRUCTURES.
   1.   When, in the opinion of the Municipal Building Inspector, the Local or County Health Official or any municipal official, any building, wall or other structure upon, adjoining or near any street, avenue, alley or public ground within the city becomes dangerous, insecure or liable to collapse from inherent structural weakness or decay, or which, from fire damage or other causes, becomes a menace to life or property, the same may be declared to be a nuisance.
      a.   Any such building shall be reported by the Municipal Building Inspector or any municipal official to the City Council, together with the lot and block number, the owner (or agent) and a description of the condition. Additional data shall be provided, including material from the community’s preservation inventory, concerning historic and/or architectural significance.
      b.   Upon receipt of such report, the City Council shall review the significance to the community by requesting a recommendation from the Preservation Commission; following review of said recommendation, the City Council shall consider whether or not to declare such building or structure to be a nuisance and serve 15 days’ legal written notice on the owner (or agent) to wreck or remove the same, or provide an alternative proposal for restoration, sale and restoration, or other appropriate method of encouraging productive re-use of the structure. Said notice shall be posted on the property to be affected, and shall also be sent by certified mail, with return receipt requested, to the owner, as shown on the County Treasurer’s records. Written notice shall also be mailed to any mortgage holder, as shown by the County Clerk’s records. If neither the property owner nor the mortgage holder can be located, notice may be given by legal notice; such notice may be published once, not less than ten days prior to any hearing or action by the city pursuant to the provisions of this section, or, as an alternative, notice may be given by first-class mail to the property owner and mortgage holder.
      c.   The City Council may hear all objections and evidence in relation thereto and, unless the owner can show good and sufficient reason why the building should not be condemned, the original order of said City Council shall be executed, or any appropriate alternative solution may be implemented.
      d.   Pursuant to a finding that the condition of the property constitutes a detriment or a hazard and that the property would be benefitted by the removal of such conditions, the City Council may cause the dilapidated building to be torn down and removed, or implement an alternative solution, and shall fix reasonable dates for the commencement and completion of the work.
      e.   The City Clerk shall immediately file a notice of lien with the County Clerk describing the property, the findings of the municipality at the hearing and stating that the municipality claims a lien on said property for the destruction and removal costs. The agents of the municipality are granted the right of entry on the property for the performance of the necessary duties as a governmental function of the municipality, if the work is not performed by the property owner within dates fixed by the City Council.
      f.   The City Council shall determine the actual cost of the repair, restoration, dismantling or removal of dilapidated buildings and any other expenses that may be necessary in conjunction with the removal of the nuisance conditions, including the cost of notice and mailing. The City Clerk shall forward a statement of the actual cost attributable to the work on the buildings and a demand for payment of such costs, by certified mail with return receipt requested, to the property owner. In addition, a copy of said statement shall be mailed to any mortgage holder.
      g.   If the municipality repairs, restores, dismantles or removes any dilapidated buildings, the cost to the property owner shall not exceed the actual cost of the labor, maintenance and equipment required for the actual repairs, restoration, dismantling or removal of the dilapidated buildings. If work on the dilapidated building is done on a private contract basis, the contract shall be awarded to the most responsible and most responsive bidder.
      h.   When payment is made to the municipality for costs incurred, the City Clerk shall file a release of lien, but if payment attributable to the actual cost of the dismantling and removal of the buildings is not made within six months from the date of the mailing of the statement to the owner of such property, the City Clerk shall forward a certified statement of the amount of the cost to the County Treasurer. Said costs shall be levied on the property and collected by the County Treasurer as are other taxes authorized by law. The cost and the interest thereon shall be a lien against the property from the date the notice of the lien is filed with the County Clerk. Said lien shall be co-equal with the lien of ad valorem taxes and all other taxes and special assessments and shall be prior and superior to all other titles and liens against the property. The lien shall continue until the cost is fully paid. At any time prior to collection, the municipality may pursue any civil remedy for collection of the amount owed and interest thereon. Upon receiving payment, the City Clerk shall forward to the County Treasurer a notice of such payment and shall direct discharge of the lien.
      i.   Nothing in the provisions of this section shall prevent the municipality from abating a dilapidated building as a nuisance or otherwise exercising its police power to protect the health, safety or welfare of the general public.
      j.   After a building has been declared dilapidated, and before the commencement of the removal of the nuisance conditions on the dilapidated building, the City Council may authorize that such a building be boarded and secured.
   2.   Any municipal official shall have the right to stop the construction of any building or structure, or the alteration, repair or wrecking of the same, if the same is being done in a careless or reckless manner, or in violation of the provisions of this code of ordinances.