WHERE ARE THEY NOW? ‘Nuisance’ abode on its way back
It was declared a nuisance by Kamloops city council in late August.
Since then, the house at 356 McGowan Ave. in North Kamloops has seen its fortunes improve.
The house was deemed uninhabitable by Kamloops Fire Rescue and the Interior Health Authority after a fire in 2008 and was the subject of numerous complaints to the city in the spring of this year.
It also sparked a petition from neighbouring property owners, who claimed it had become a haven for transients, birds and rodents and asked the city to tear it down.
However, after council agreed to declare the home a nuisance, owner Lynda Watt came forward to refute much of what had been reported about the conditions inside the house.
Watt told council she had been working to get her home back up to snuff for several years, spending up to three hours a night hauling away debris and cleaning.
However, she said she was grappling with a mental-health issue, homelessness and other difficulties following the initial fire.
Difficulties with a family estate had also held up funds earmarked for larger repairs.
City council extended the time given her to complete a property inspection required once a home is declared a nuisance — a deadline that passed on Oct. 11.
Since then, city director of development and engineering services Marvin Kwiatkowski told KTW, the report has been completed and one of the major concerns about the home has been alleviated.
“Structurally, it’s in pretty good shape,” he said.
The house won’t need to be demolished, but smoke and water damage will have to be addressed.
The city is working with Watt to set up a timeline for those repairs, but Kwiatkowski said staff are trying to be sensitive with the file and plan to keep those discussions mostly behind the scenes and out of the council and media spotlight.