HANCOCK COUNTY — The county will demolish a dilapidated house and barn officials say could “collapse at any time” if the homeowners don’t make immediate repairs or demolish it on their own.

This week, the Hancock County Board of Commissioners conducted an unsafe building hearing for a property with no address near County Road 1200E and County Road 700N and ordered the home’s owners to tear it down by Sept. 2 or face having it demolished by the county.

The house and barn are vacant and have been in disrepair for years, and officials have been hearing complaints about the property for at least six years, said county building inspector Scott Williams, who warned county officials the structures are near collapse.

Despite sending letters to property owners ordering them to clean it up, nothing has been done to make improvements, Williams said.

Grass and weeds around the property are overgrown, and the house is covered with vines.

Besides being an eyesore, the house also poses risk to the public. The structure isn’t sound, and it’s also a fire hazard, he said.

The couple that owns the house no longer lives there, Williams said.

He said he believes the husband died, and the wife lives across the state with family members and is unable to make any improvements to the structures, Williams said.

During the unsafe building hearing Tuesday, no owners were present, though they were invited to attend and speak about the property.

Property taxes on the structures have been paid, county records show.

Commissioner Marc Huber said he believes the property needs to be demolished; the commissioners voted to give Williams the authority to move forward with demolition if the property owners don’t step up by next month.

Tuesday’s vote marked the second time since the start of the year the commissioners have given Johnson permission to pursue demolition of eyesore properties.

The city of Greenfield also has ordered structures on two properties to be demolished this year.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.