9/10/2013 11:57:00 AM Brownsdale council rules on urban blight
By Tara Lindquist
During the August Brownsdale City Council meeting, concerned citizens flooded council chambers, all voicing the same message; we want our town cleaned up.
The council took their concerns seriously and directed Police Chief Jason Mindrup to make contact with property owners, whose homes are in violation of city nuisance ordinances. Mindrup made contact with ten homeowners and gave them all ten days to get their property cleaned up or they would be issued a citation. Also during last month's meeting citizens expressed their disappointment over the City Park and lack of playground equipment.
During this month's city council meeting, held on Tuesday, September 3, the chambers were again full of citizens, but this time they had a brighter outlook on the town. "I think it's looking a lot better," commented Carol Larick. "There's been a lot of improvement made but there are still some areas that need to be addressed and I hope the council does not let this fall by the wayside."
Another citizen complained about Olson and Son Repair using city streets as vehicle storage and the business blocking the passageway of sidewalks out front with vehicles. "On our way to a funeral at the Methodist Church we had to walk on the street because we couldn't get by on the sidewalk," she explained. "And all the vehicles parked on the road are going to cause an accident." Mayor Pike assured her Mindrup has made contact with the owner and will again. "He's been issued citations before and he has paid them," Pike explained. With the building being zoned as commercial there is a not a lot the council can do in terms of enforcement to clean up the property. "We'll keep working with him," Pike said.
Don Heimer addressed the council stating his concerns regarding Vista Village Trailer Court. He told the council he feels that property should be treated the same as every other property in town regarding maintenance. "They are," Pike assured him. "We'll get to that later in the meeting."
Instead, Pike and the council choose to address the three hazardous buildings that have been found in town.
The properties are located at 501 East Main Street, Vista Village and 208 North Mill Street. The council unanimously passed three resolutions, one for each property to send a letter to the property owner demanding the issues the city has found. The issues with the properties must be rectified in the next 90 days or the city will take legal action against the property owners.
The issues found at 208 North Mill Street are:
Improper outside electrical wiring-must bring up to building code.
Large pile of wood planks leaning next to the home-must be removed.
Telephone poles in the yard-must be removed.
Windows in basement are broken or open. Must be board up or replaced to code.
Front steps of dwelling are not attached and must be installed properly.
Front entrance is not accessible due to a large bush-remove bush.
Outlying buildings are dilapidated and must be removed.
Appearance of varmints inside building-must seal exterior openings.
Neglected, overgrown yard. Trim trees, bushes and grass.
The issues found at 501 East Main Street are:
Open/broken windows-board up or replace. Old chimney opening/falling off-secure and close up opening.
Cellar open-secure cellar.
Holes in the sides of buildings-seal up and reside.
Holes in soffits-secure openings.
Foundations around house is falling apart-bring foundation up to building code.
Siding loose at foundation-secure openings.
Large pieces of wood and planks leaned up next to house-remove.
The issues found at Vista Village are as follows:
Abandoned vehicles-remove from property.
Abandoned trailers-removed from property.
Piles of tree trunk need to be removed.
Abandoned building, falling down-removed from property
Overgrown weeds need to be cut. Kids pool-remove.
Abandoned accessory building-remove
The council listed hazards with this property, which include the attraction of varmints, dangerous for kids and open access for varmints to live.
The council also took up the matter of the city park. They had an inspector come and look over the park. He found two pieces of equipment that are not safe and suggested the city remove them. He will also be putting together a park plan for the city. The city has taken no action on whether or not there will be new park equipment installed but did agree to removed the unsafe equipment.
The council also discussed:
Street light repair on Mill Street
Approved the purchase of new LED lights for the city's Christmas decorations
There are four new street signs remaining to be placed.
The council will meet again on October 7, at 7 p.m.