Backroom building changes hands

The building on the west end of Shelden Avenue that used to house Backroom Multi–Entertainment has been returned to the city of Houghton.

The building’s previous owner, 46-year-old Michael Jestila, was sentenced to one year in jail earlier this week on drug-related charges.

As part of Jestila’s plea agreement, the building was forfeited to the city.

Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes said there are liens on the building from both the bank and the state of Michigan.

The building will be put up for auction in about six to nine months, but MacInnes said it would be unlikely that the city would make any money on the property after the bank and the state have collected what they are owed.

MacInnes asked for $2,000 from the city to pay to have the front of the building repainted and the windows cleaned so the building would look presentable in time for FinnFest.

Jestila has approximately 40 days to arrange to have the contents of the building removed.

After that period, the city will have to decide what to do with the remaining materials.