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House given 90-day reprieve

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FERRIS – The continuous legal battle with Jacuita Kimbrell and the city of Ferris is drawing to a close after more than 20 years of discussion.

The city of Ferris Board of Adjustments met to consider settling a lawsuit with Kimbrell’s property at 409 S. Wood Street, Tuesday, June 28.

During the 20-year period, the city has unsuccessfully tried to work with Kimbrell to make the house safe for living conditions. 

Rather than see any progress over the past 20 years, the house has progressively deteriorated to a condition unsafe for the property owner and the surrounding area according to a statement issued by the city.

Last October, a group of volunteers came forward and offered to help renovate the house after the ordeal gained media attention from a Dallas radio station. According to city officials, the Board of Adjustments made it clear the work needed to be completed in 90 days. Officials were told by volunteers, “that wasn’t possible” and they would need “12 to 18 months for their effort.”

Since the required timeframe could not be met, the Board of Adjustments took no action and the previously issued demolition order remained in effect. 

Following the decision, Kimbrell, 71, brought a lawsuit against the city of Ferris. 

After many hearings and court appearances between the property owner and city officials, the property owner agreed the renovations can and will be completed in the requested 90 - day timeframe. 

Kimbrell agreed to dismiss her lawsuit against the city and the city agreed to allow the renovations to proceed and be completed in 90 days, beginning Monday, Aug. 1.

According to a statement issued by the city, “The Board of Adjustments is pleased an agreeable solution was able to be reached and more importantly, the house will finally be made safe and habitable.”

Kimbrell will not be able to reside in the home during renovations and if she does not meet the 90-day requirement she agreed upon with the city, the city will proceed with the demolition. 

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