KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Fines continue to mount up against a historic Wyandotte County landmark.
Sauer Castle is schedule to be part of a tax sale meant to pay the owner’s unpaid taxes — unless he arranges another method to avoid losing it. Carl Lopp, who owns Sauer Castle, has done so in the past.
The castle’s roots stretch back to pre-Civil War times. Neighbors have complained to Wyandotte County leaders that it’s become an eyesore, and fallen into visible disrepair over the years.
On Monday, Lopp told FOX4 he continues to work on the property. Wyandotte County assessors said they’re unaware of any recent work. County codes enforcement records show 45 citations against the property and fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Sauer Castle’s caretaker’s house, which sits beside the castle, is also slated to be part of the tax sale.
Unified Government of Wyandotte County leaders said Lopp has arranged past payment plans to avoid seeing the castle sold on the courthouse steps.
However, according to Wendy M. Green, Wyandotte County’s senior counsel, any payment plans in this case will require the approval of a judge to avoid the March 28 tax sale. County assessors continue to bill Lopp for a monthly $1,500 citation until work to improve the castle is completed.
“The castle remains in the same condition it’s been in the past several years or so,” Patrick Holton, Wyandotte County property maintenance compliance manager, said. “It’s a nice neighborhood and the people who live there don’t deserve to have to watch a landmark deteriorate day in and day out.”
Holton said some of those unpaid citations have transformed into liens against the property. Lopp listed the castle for sale last January at a $10 million asking price — well above market value. March 28th’s tax sale carries a minimum asking price of $27,808.01 for the castle and $8,303.25 for the caretaker’s house.
“I feel like they should know it’s time to win the game and take it away from him once and for all,” Diane Euston, area historian, said. “If we don’t step forward soon, we’re not going to have anything more than a pile of bricks.”
On Monday morning, Lopp said he and his staff continue to work on the property, and he’s not aware of any tax sale that includes the castle or neighboring house.