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Failure to appear in court puts a man in jail

The city may demolish the house

Property Code Violation

COLUMBIA, Mo. - ABC 17 News told you last week that a man failed to show up to his court hearing to explain the poor condition of his home. John Belaka has faced many hearings over what the city calls a rundown and dangerous property.

We dug into public records and found Belaka is also two years behind paying taxes on this property. He is also facing charges for theft dating back to October of 2016.

Leigh Kottwitz, the Neighborhood Services Manager of the City of Columbia said if no steps are made by the owner to fix up the property, then the city, "would demolish the structure, if evidence existed, to protect the community."

We walked around the neighborhood to see if there were any property improvements, but the property still remains in very poor condition. We knocked on neighbors' doors to see if they knew about Belaka's arrest, but all they could say is they occasionally see him walking around, but know very little about him.

Belaka was released from the Boone County Jail on Sunday.

The city plans to demolish the house in the next forty-five to ninety days if no work order for repair is put into effect.


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