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After neglecting to remove the shingles from her condemned home by Thursday, as ordered by the Burleigh County Commission, a Baldwin property owner was granted a second one-month extension to remove the remaining shingles — cedar shakes — before they fly off and further damage a neighboring home.

Charlene Evanenko, who owns the vacant house at 2604 Elbert Ave., has until May 1 to demolish the structure, after being granted a separate extension by the commission. The house was due to be tore down last month.

“We did remove the asphalt shingles, because we were told that was the problem. We did not realize that the shakes would have to be removed, too,” said Charlene Evanenko.

The asphalt shingles were removed by the property owner’s son, Justin Evanenko, who said he was not aware of the cedar shakes underneath.

“I think you’re kind of leading us around on this,” said Commissioner Brian Bitner. “There’s no way that you can look at those wood shingles and not consider them as shingles on the roof. Your objective was to remove the shingles … Every shingle should’ve been off that roof.”

Kevin Seher, whose property is located adjacent to the condemned house, said he has a hard time believing the Evanenkos didn’t know about the cedar shakes.

“The wood shingles were clearly visible from the road for 15 years where the tar shingles have been coming off,” he said. “The wooden shakes are all loose up there right now.”

Seher says flying shingles from the Evanenko house have stained his siding and busted windows on his home, which he recently remodeled. He alleges the vacant home is infested with mice and mold.

Charlene Evanenko, who has faced several hardships in recent months, including the deaths of loved ones, said she currently can’t afford to tear down the house. She estimates the demolition will cost nearly $15,000.

Burning down the house is not advised, due to the presence of lead paint and other chemicals, and the home’s proximity to Seher’s property.

“We’re trying to resolve this. We’re not trying to procrastinate this. We’re trying to get this done,” Justin Evanenko said.

Commissioner Jerry Woodcox advised the Evanenkos to demolish the house sooner than later.

“You still got a month to tear the house down,” he said. “If you can get at it now … I don’t want to be coming around May 1 and have to battle this again, because we will demolish the thing with a bulldozer.”

“I strongly recommend you make sure there’s not a single piece of loose anything on that house that can blow over to the neighbor’s place,” Bitner added.

Chairman Jim Peluso and Bitner voted against granting the extensions at the Thursday meeting.

A second vacant Baldwin property, 2409 201st Ave. N.E., which serves as storage for old hot tubs, junk cars and leaky boats, has not been brought into compliance, despite the county’s issuing a notice and order to the property owner in May.

“There’s a lot of material in the yard,” said Ray Ziegler, Burleigh County's building official. “Probably 30-some hot tubs that are being, basically, salvaged for parts, at least two dozen unlicensed vehicles and numerous other items.”

The property owner has not responded to the notice and order, according to Ziegler, and the deadline to comply has come and gone.

Based on Burleigh County State’s Attorney Richard Riha’s recommendation, the commission voted unanimously to pursue civil or criminal action against the property owner for nuisance.

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(Reach Cheryl McCormack at 701-250-8264 or​


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