SEBRING City officials are estimating the battle over the wall at 503 E. Center Ave. will have cost the city at least $50,000.
But it appears uncertain when or if the city will recoup any of that money.
As of Friday, the wall was torn down and work on sidewalks was being completed along Orange Street and Center Avenue.
"It's sad it had to come to this," said City Administrator Scott Noethlich.
The city has battled since 2009 to get the wall torn down, saying that on Center Avenue it was in the city's right-of-way and prevented making sidewalks conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Gingerlee Mitchelllindo, the property owner, has contended the city is violating her property rights. She has filed numerous lawsuits and appeals, saying her case is a precedent for protecting the rights of everyone.
Noethlich said the city and the county offered to build a new conforming wall at no charge to Mitchelllindo, but she disputes getting that offer.
As for the costs and recouping the money, Noethlich said that a 2011 Circuit Court judgment allowed the city to place a lien for almost $28,000 on the property.
But the costs of getting the wall removed will exceed that, he said. Attorney's fees were tallied to be about $33,300 alone, he said.
The city also owed $4,300 to Civilsurv Design Group for designing the project to remove the wall and reconstruct the sidewalks and $12,577 to Excavation Point, the corporation that removed the walls. That brings the total to nearly $50,000.
Noethlich said all that doesn't include the dozens of hours that he and other city officials put into the issue.
Although the city got a court decision allowing removal of the wall in 2010, the work was delayed because of appeals from Mitchelllindo, Noethlich said.
Mitchelllindo vowed earlier in the week that even with the wall being torn down, that was not the end to the dispute.
City officials are unaware of any prior Sebring city dispute with a residential landowner that has taken so much time and cost so much money, Noethlich said.