CEDAR LAKE | The Town Council on Tuesday took action on a plan that could allow a blind woman whose home was mistakenly sold out from under her to stay in her house.
The Cedar Lake Town Council directed Town Attorney David Austgen to pursue acquisition of the small piece of property that has been 67-year-old Dolores Pittman’s home for decades. If the acquisition is successful, the town likely will pursue a life estate relationship with Pittman, allowing her to live on the property once the town owns it.
Clayton Pullins, of Chesterton, had purchased the small plot for $43 in a 2009 Lake County Board of Commissioners tax sale and recently began pushing for Pittman’s eviction.
Neither Pullins nor the Pittman family attended Tuesday’s meeting.
Pittman's family bought the house decades ago and paid rent for the land beneath it to a lakeside summer resort. The resort later divested itself of its holdings and refused to pay taxes on her lot.
The county flagged it as one of more than 11,000 tax delinquent properties and offered it up to speculators at an online auction four years ago without notifying Pittman.
County officials only sent notice of the tax sale to the resort. The Pittman family, in an oversight, didn't properly record their ownership interest with the county.
Pittman thought Town Hall owned her plot, because the municipality acquired the rest of the resort's holdings and its officials accepted her rent payments after the resort dissolved.
Pittman, 67, recently said her brother, who lives with her, found them a rental unit north of Lowell that they would be able to afford, thanks to donations that have come in.