In the community, Local government

Buyer of nuisance lot in Ontario pledges to finish cleanup

ONTARIO – An Alameda Drive homesite that has been the location for fires, fights and more in recent years is going to a new owner who has pledged to clean the property within 60 days.

David Brown, an Ontario attorney, described the sale in requesting the Malheur County Court to drop a lien on the property for an old county tax invoice for an earlier cleanup of the property.

The home at 1337 Alameda Drive, across the street from Alameda Elementary School, has been a source of community complaints and police actions for years.

A surviving son of the owners who stayed on at the property after they died has been in and out of treatment. His brother, Cody Easom of Boise, arranged the sale. The transaction was scheduled to be completed Friday, July 15.

Brown said money from the sale would ensure that Easom’s brother gets long-term care.

A major cleanup of the property on April 30, orchestrated by Malheur County officials, cleared derelict vehicles, trailers and tons of debris and garbage.

Brown said the property remained “cluttered beyond belief.”

Malheur County in October 2019 ordered and paid for a cleanup of the property, costing $9,100. The county subsequently put a lien on the property to recover that money if the property sold.

Brown asked the Malheur County Court to immediately lift the lien so the property sale could go through. He said the Easom estate would remain liable for that cost.

Stephanie Williams, Malheur County counsel, said that getting the sale done would ensure back property taxes were paid and the property would be improved.

“There’s a lot of good that comes out of the sale,” she said.

The county court – Judge Dan Joyce and Commissioners Don Hodge and Ron Jacobs – voted unanimously to remove the lien.

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