A homeowner in Biggs followed through on her promise to pay $17,091.94 on a loan issued in 1995 to avoid the foreclosure of the home. The payment was received by the City of Biggs on January 16, leaving a current balance of $28,890.75.

A homeowner in Biggs followed through on her promise to pay $17,091.94 on a loan issued in 1995 to avoid the foreclosure of the home. The payment was received by the City of Biggs on January 16, leaving a current balance of $28,890.75.

The owner can now continue to make monthly payments of $168.64 on the first of each month. A CDBG loan of $40,000 was issued in 1995, but payments were sporadic - 11 payments in 2006, 2007, seven payments in 1996, three payments in 1997 and none in 1998 and 1999. The City Council said at a previous meeting that past leadership had some responsibility in the mess by not enforcing the payments.

The council was clear in their desire not to foreclose the home, and allowed the owner to make the payments current by the January 26 meeting. The payment was confirmed during the consent agenda.

In unfinished business, Michael and Wendy Haury returned to discuss a requested "Burn-Down Letter." Their residential property at 2917 W. Biggs-Gridley Road is in the M-1 zone district, classified as light industrial. Because of this, a burn-down letter is required by a lending agency to get a loan.

The letter previously issued to the Haurys by City Planner Scott Friend authorized rebuilding after a fire that burned up to 75 percent of the structure. Friend explained that because of the city code, he was legally unable to go above 75 percent. He said he wasn't aware of where the number 75 came from, but that it was a standard percentage for cities.

If a fire were to burn the building beyond 75 percent, a use permit would be required from the city in order for the Haurys to rebuild.

"I fully expect that this city would issue a use permit," he said. "But the lending institution, that's going to give out a lot of their money, wants more than just my word that you'll get it.

"What the lending institution wants is a firm commitment from the agency that says if it burns you can build, no more no less. If you're in a residential district, that's fine because it's a permitted right; they don't need a burn letter. The only time a burn letter is needed is when you have a resident in a non-residential district."

Friend gave an example of a situation from the week before in which an agency issued a use permit in advance of a hypothetical fire to prove they would let an individual rebuild, and the lender still said that wasn't good enough. Theoretically, a use permit can't be issued for a fire that hasn't happened.

The Haurys explained that the 75 percent burn letter has not been acceptable to their lender. Friend said the most expedient way to resolve the problem would come from the lender, and the Haurys could find out if they would accept a use permit. The council could also change the city code wording or percentage number, but a text amendment such as that would take every bit of four months because of mandatory time frames, Friend estimated.

The issue wasn't resolved on Monday night, but the Haurys said they would return for the February meeting. They noted that even if they could make their lender comfortable, the problem is not likely to go away as others in the area could face the same problem.