WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — Update, 11:40 p.m. Late Monday night, Westminster City Council approved $400,000 of local funding for the asbestos cleanup at 7731 N. Knox Court.

Original: Duane Doyle, 51, had been living in the house illegally when he accidentally killed himself in a propane gas explosion on Feb. 22.

Councilman Bruce Baker told the Problem Solvers that at Monday night’s Westminster City Council meeting, he will propose that the city use local dollars to finally pay for the cleanup.

Knox Court residents forced out after home explosion

The city council is slated to approve $585,000 in Community Development Block Grants for other projects that are supposed to be related to preserving and expanding affordable housing. But Baker will suggest using most of the funds to help instead clean an eye-sore that neighbors complain the city has turned a blind eye to, long before the home exploded.

The homeowners on each side of 7731 N. Knox Court have been forced to move because massive damage from the propane tank explosion left their homes uninhabitable.

“It would be the first sign of the city saying, ‘Hey, we should try to do something,” said Crissa Doeppke, who still has no idea when she can move back into her home at 7741 N. Knox Court.

Responsibility for the debris and asbestos cleanup is tied to a mortgage company identified by the city of Westminster as Reverse Mortgage. Reverse Mortgage is legally liable for the cleanup costs, according to a city of Westminster spokesperson, but their timeline has been complicated by the ongoing foreclosure process on the property.

7731 N. Knox Court was supposed to be auctioned off at the Adams County Courthouse on July 20, but the auction was postponed for at least the fifth time. It’s now scheduled to take place on Aug. 4.

Who will pay for asbestos cleanup on Knox Court?

The City of Westminster has told neighbors an approved asbestos remediation company has submitted a bid of $315,000 to clean up the site, but it’s not known yet if Reverse Mortgage has agreed to pay for the cleanup or if it hopes to pass the cost onto whoever buys the property at auction.

Councilman Baker told FOX31 he thinks the city should agree to pay for the cleanup now and hope the legal system will eventually force Reverse Mortgage to reimburse the city.

A Westminster spokesperson told the Problem Solvers that city staff is researching the feasibility of Baker’s suggestion, which he is expected to bring up at the Monday night council meeting.