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Mitchell Habitat to buy fire-stricken property

After building a few homes, Mitchell Regional Habitat for Humanity is preparing to knock one down.

At a meeting Monday night, Mitchell Habitat's board of directors voted to go ahead with the purchase of a piece of property at 615 W. Fourth Ave. in Mitchell. That's where a house partially destroyed in a fire last October is still standing, though city officials have already said it will need to be torn down.

Lori Baye, the board's co-president, said Mitchell Habitat has not yet closed on the property, but expects to do so later this month. Once that happens, Baye said the group will make arrangements to have the house torn down.

Baye said the property will eventually be the site of a new Habitat home, built from scratch. Mitchell Habitat has built three homes in the area since 2001, and is in the process of building a fourth on East First Avenue.

Baye said the owner of the property on West Fourth Avenue plans to move away from Mitchell and approached Mitchell Habitat with an offer to sell a few months ago. Baye declined to say how much Mitchell Habitat is paying for the property.

"Without a doubt, the price was right and the opportunity was there," she said. "So, we thought we would take advantage of it."

Mitchell Habitat will also benefit from a grant that will cover the entire cost of demolishing the house, though Baye declined to reveal the source of that grant.

It could be next year or later before Mitchell Habitat actually breaks ground for a new house at the property, Baye said. Mitchell Habitat's current project on East First Avenue is expected to be finished this summer.

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 in Americus, Ga., and has since helped build or repair more than 600,000 homes worldwide.

Anybody interested in volunteering with Mitchell Habitat can call 996-9068 or email