A pending sale of the house at 520 S. Columbia will be used to offset lingering bills the city has with owner Ralph Fitch. Photo by Dan Spalding, InkFreeNews
A pending sale of the house at 520 S. Columbia will be used to offset lingering bills the city has with owner Ralph Fitch. Photo by Dan Spalding, InkFreeNews
Ralph Fitch is on the verge of no longer having any rental properties in the city of Warsaw.

The Larwill man has been a frequent flyer with the Warsaw Code Enforcement office over the years over numerous dilapidated rental properties including ones on Market Street and Winona Avenue that had to be demolished by the city.

His interactions with the city appear to be ending a final chapter.

In recent days, a lack of cooperation by Fitch led the city to demolish Fitch's four-unit apartment on Chinworth Court after the city spent months trying to cajole him into selling or making needed improvements.

His final remaining property – a two-story eyesore on South Columbia Street – is on the verge of being sold, city officials announced Tuesday during a monthly code enforcement hearing in Warsaw City Hall.

The city is now setting the stage to recoup nearly $40,000 in fines and demolition costs dating back eight years, said Dana Hewitt, code enforcement officer for the city.

On Tuesday, officials got a verbal commitment from Fitch to pay off his bills to the city with proceeds from the Columbia Street house.

After years of wrangling, Fitch had little to say, other than responding "yes" to a few questions before leaving the meeting.

The Chinworth and Columbia Street properties were the source of safety concerns because the rundown properties were attracting squatters.

In another matter, code enforcement will revisit cases involving two rental properties owned by SkyTeam Properties. The buildings at 303 S. Indiana St. and 418 S. Union St. have had various code violations for months.

The apartment building on Indiana Street has undergone roof and structural improvements, but a permit needed for interior renovations has expired.

Code enforcement officials said the owner of SkyTeam Properties continues to be unresponsive and is moving slowly on the work.

The hearing officer ordered the city to seek an update before its meeting on Oct. 25.