The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 27, 2013

Webb City shuts off water to apartment building; tenants will need to find new homes, city official says

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Danielle Foley has been without running water since Monday.

She may soon be without a home.

Foley, who has two children, has lived in an apartment building at 110 W. First St. for four months.

Other tenants in the building also will need to find a new place to stay after city officials shut off water to the building following two months of nonpayment from the owner. They say no one has come forward to take responsibility for the building.

Interim City Administrator Carl Francis said Tuesday that the city is encouraging people to leave their apartments and find other housing.

“They have to look at moving out. That’s the best advice I can give,” he said. “There isn’t anyone stepping up for the building, and we can’t expect anyone to at this point.”

Francis said the city shut off the water after attempts to find a financially responsible party for the building were not successful. He said whoever is responsible for the building already owes $2,000 to the city for its municipal water service.

Francis said Kenneth Mark Wickstrom, who lists his address in court documents as 4 S. Main St., Webb City, was the last known owner of the building.

“We have talked to Kenneth Wickstrom, and he says that he does not own the property anymore and that we should contact his attorney for any matter relating to that property,” Francis said. “We have been unsuccessful in locating anyone who can claim the building or at least claim financial responsibility for the building.”

The Globe’s multiple attempts to reach Wickstrom at personal and business numbers have been unsuccessful. There also was no answer Wednesday at the address listed in court documents. Attempts to reach the attorney representing Wickstrom in his divorce case also were unsuccessful.

Francis said there were 10 known recent tenants in the building, but several have moved out over the past month. He said he believes some people may be illegally living in the building.

“We have no control on what goes on inside the building unless it becomes dangerous or unhealthy,” Francis said. “I’ve heard people just went in because there are open apartments and there isn’t an owner there to do anything about it.”

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