Carbondale Resident to Lose House to Demolition

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By Matthew Searcy

CARBONDALE -- Carbondale city officials have been in a property battle with a homeowner for nearly five years now. The house is set to be demolished on Monday, but the owner still lives there. 

Matt Gramse has lived on Spillway Road in Carbondale since 2008. Since moving in, his time has been marked by the number of warning notices seen on his door. Garbage and debris on the lawn are just some of the issues the city has been looking to clean up. 
 
"I'm disappointed in the property, it doesn't look very good," explained Gramse.  
 
The basement collapsed several years ago, making it structurally unsound. Gramse says he has tried to repair the damage, but was denied building permits from the city.  
 
"I've been ready to fix it for a long time," said Gramse. "I've had the materials and a contractor lined up. I could even do the work." 
 
City leaders say they have given Gramse plenty of chances.  
 
"He was actually issued a building permit and he let it expire," explained City Manger Kevin Baity. "It's just considered a nuisance property, so like many others in town, we move in and take action." 
 
The city demolishes several unkempt properties every year, but it's rare when someone is still living inside the home. 
 
"I wouldn't classify myself as a hoarder, but some people have said that," said Gramse. 
 
He will begin looking for a new place to live later this week.
 
"Whatever it costs for them to demolish the house, they are going to put a lien on the property and basically force me to sell the property to pay the lien," said Gramse.  
 
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