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home : government : cities/towns May 24, 2016

7/29/2014 2:10:00 PM
Dodge Center City Council Nuisance debate enlivens busy council session

By Larry Dobson

A contentious public hearing on an order to abate a nuisance was the most challenging issue on the agenda at the Dodge Center City Council meeting Monday night at city hall. Kari Samlaska appeared to address issues related to complaints from neighbors of their home a 206 1st St. SW.

Administrative Assistant Linda Nagel presented the council with a packet of photos taken of the property since complaints began in February. She said complaints include junked vehicles, vehicles parked on neighbors property, vehicles being driven across neighbors property, vehicles being parked for days in front of neighbors mailboxes and other materials and items cluttering the yard.

Samlaska had received letters from the city regarding nuisance items which had been removed and seemed to be of the opinion that the city must identify specific items as they are accumulated.

City Administrator Lee Mattson explained that the nuisance ordinance addresses the requirement for residents to avoid creating a nuisance situation and does not require the city to itemize all potential violations, that removing the items the city sends notice about and replacing them with others does not constitute compliance.

Samlaska said there are also many other residences that are in violation of the nuisance ordinance and that she felt the city should go after them as diligently as it has after her. Mayor Ketchum explained that the city does contact other property owners when there are complaints and even has Nagel drive around looking for nuisance properties, which are then notified of the need to correct the nuisances, and in most cases the problems are then corrected.

(Nagel said Tuesday morning that she has sent out 26 junk letters and 30 grass letters related to the nuisance ordinance this year.)

After the public hearing, the council voted the rest of the story in the print edition of the Star Herald

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