Citing public safety concerns, Eureka shuts down another Squires property

EUREKA – The city shut down another property owned by Floyd and Betty Squires Friday.
Tenants at 216, 218 and 220 3rd Street were given twenty-four hours notice to vacate so crews could board up the building. Some we spoke with were looking for a new place to stay while others expressed anger and frustration over losing their homes.
The city’s general fund will cover the approximately $25,000 to close the building and relocate tenants in the ten occupied units. Those expenses will be billed to the owners.
One now former tenant, Richard Smith, said he wasn’t surprised the city took this action.
Smith said, “There was cockroaches. It was all infested. It was a mess and there were druggies and all that. I hated it.”
The three properties were boarded up after an inspection found ninety-nine violations ranging from hazardous electrical wiring and uncapped gas lines to rodent infestations and missing flooring.
Public works officials described it as a haven for drug dealers and addicts and says the squires have had every opportunity to remedy the violations voluntarily.
Eureka Deputy Public Works Director Brian Issa said, “The place has just continued to become a bigger and bigger magnet for illegal activity in the area and it starts to metastasize out in to the neighborhood and cause problems for all the neighboring property owner who are trying to take care of their properties and trying to do the right thing.”
Two unoccupied Squires properties were demolished last week. A press release issued by the Public Works Department states that Eureka will “continue to utilize legal remedies to reduce or remove blighted properties throughout the community.” We reached out to Floyd and Betty Squires but did not hear back by deadline.