Here and there around town, some issues pop up again and again as Tip List complaints: the old CHP building on Childs Avenue, the still-missing and iconic Hotel Tioga sign, traffic lights that take too long to switch and so on.
Another one of those complaints -- for the past year-and-a-half at least -- is the burned-out and weeded-over apartment home at 25th and G streets.
One year ago, Jonah Owen Lamb wrote about the blight at 5 W. 25th St., which was thoroughly charred by a December 2008 apartment fire near the front of the building. A year ago, the building appeared to be abandoned, with trash and belongings strewn along the property.
On Wednesday, the situation was much the same, replete with abandoned boots and mattresses visible from the street and alley. A bright orange "Do Not Enter!" sign from the city of Merced on the front gate declares the building uninhabitable.
Alas, this recurring Tip List staple will soon fall by the wayside: "We have some good news for everyone. A contractor was in City Hall yesterday looking to check with the building department for information to rehab the units and get them back into use," said Mike Conway, spokesman for the city.
Conway estimated that orange fencing would be up around the property soon, and construction would begin to renovate and modernize all eight apartments at the address.
Efforts to reach the building's owner to find out more abut the work were unsuccessful Tuesday. A quick check with the county assessor's office showed that the owner has stayed on top of tax payments since the fire, paying a full $2,363.14 in 2009.
Until the building is once again occupied, Conway asked that neighbors in the area keep an eye out and call the police department if they notice suspicious activity.
Update: Last week, I wrote about the abundant clusters of mistletoe that had taken over trees along Bear Creek Drive -- a problem that also fell to the city government, Conway lamented Wednesday. Last Friday morning, an eager crew of public works employees ridded the trees of their parasite. Kudzu! Er, kudos.
Tip off the tip list!
If you see something broken or in need of repair in your neighborhood, call the Sun-Star Tip List reporter, Danielle E. Gaines, with your tips at (209) 385-2477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.