Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vacant House Burns in Ogden River Project Neighborhood

Ogden Fire Department resources wasted due to the negligence of one Ogden property owner

Tantalizing article in this morning's Standard-Examiner, regarding a house fire in the neighborhood adjacent to the Ogden River -- 262 W. 20th St. -- to be exact. It seems this vacant residential property had been occupied at the time of the fire by three "transients," who were escorted from the burning structure by responding Ogden City firefighters, and later interviewed by police and a fire marshal in connection with the incident. The structure had been slated for demolition, the article says.

This set our minds to speculating, of course; and we wondered whether this particular property might have been one of absentee property owner Gadi Leshem's River Project properties, about which the Standard-Examiner's Don Porter complained in this fine and hard-hitting April Editorial:

"Roll out the bulldozer".

As anyone who is familiar with real estate management is well aware, vacant properties are prime targets for arson, along with the full range of other criminal activities which occur when properties are left abandoned and unattended. In this instance it's clear that Ogden City Fire Department resources were unnecessarily wasted on Friday, due to one landowner's apparent negligence in failing to secure and/or demolish his abandoned derelict property.

This brings us back to the fundamental questions, of course: Does this property belong to Leshem? If so, nobody can argue that he wasn't forewarned. We don't like to point the finger, but we do believe this is a question which needs to be answered.

Can any of our gentle readers shed any additional light on this? Is there an Ogden firefighter-WCF reader in the house this morning?

Whomever the landowner turns out to be however, we hope Ogden Fire Chief Mike Mathieu promptly sends him a hefty bill.

And what about our Ogden City administration's code enforcement responsibility in this? How many other unattended properties along the Ogden River front are vulnerable to similar incidents?

Update 7/19/08 11:31 a.m. MT: One of our sharp and resourceful readers takes our above query out of the realm of speculation, and confirms that the offending subject property indeed belongs to Leshem. This from gentle reader Southsider in the lower comments section (per the Weber County Parcel Search Engine): "LESHEM, MIRI TRUSTEE".

The Godfrey crony plot sickens.


Southsider said...



Monotreme said...

Good job, Southsider.

Also in today's S-E, I noticed there's a new crime beat reporter, Kristine Shawkey.

If she approaches her work with an independent and inquisitive spirit, then she should have some fun times ahead.

Welcome to Ogden, Kristine, if you're reading this.

Monotreme said...

I think it's been mentioned here before, but the Miri Leshem trust owes (or owed) 5807.80 in back taxes to Weber County, according to the 2007 delinquent tax list.

I have no way of knowing whether those delinquent taxes were resolved since the list was issued in December.

RudiZink said...

Nice work, Southsider. (Gotta admit I'm feeling a mite sheepish for having failed to check the County site myself.)

And thanks, Mono, for the additional information.

To reiterate the old refrain... we couldn't do what we do here at Weber County forum, without the robust input of our gentle readers.

Emperor Nero said...

Once again, Godfrey borrows a page from my book, and fiddles while Ogden burns.

danny said...

Leshem is waiting for his federal money to come in to pump his property so he can dump it. Call the corrupt, addled Bob Bennett to encourage quick action. Word is Godfrey and Gadi are infesting the property with live rats to encourage the Bennett funding.

BTW, what is there about the river that needs cleaning up? Are we talking about some contaminated dirt from the industrial areas? Or is it just $6million for the Army Corps of engineers to prove their usual spendthrift incompetence with?

Oops, I ended that sentence with a preposition . . .

danny said...

Anybody else think this guy is boyish looking?

Click Here

Are we talking "President Godfrey" here?

Well, maybe we need a boy president. Teddy Roosevelt was a boy his whole life. Perhaps that's better than the corrupt crony old man career politician candidate.

I sure hope so.

drewmeister said...

Oh, but wait!! Lesham hired some lawn care workers to mow the lawns of the vacant houses across the street from us. This is already the second time this year!

They didn't bother mowing the parking strips, but it's a concession, at least our cats won't be quite as miffed because they don't have a forest to play in anymore.

gadi leshem said...

oops, my bad. oh, well. -sips martini whilst basking in the California sun..-

what will it costs us. said...

What were the property values before they were bought by Lesham? Were the property values decreased by the county since they were vacated thus lowering tax value? Where is the neighborhood patrol for weeds and upkeep, lets see a few fines leveled against the property owner. How many years will we wait until they are demolished?
Seems like Bingham Cyclery would want the neighborhood cleaned up so his bicyclist would want to ride the river trail, whithout someone hiding in the weeds.

disgusted said...

property value $31,000. city was paying up to 100 grand for some of those properties.
are we being hosed on the price gadi paid for the property to the city if he bought any from the city directly or are we being hosed because the low appraised value relative to what it should be when it comes to gadi paying city and county taxes? if property was being optioned by the city as reported in the paper for 100K then most property there should be similarly appraised. is gadi only paying 1/3 of the taxes he should be paying?

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