By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Most of the area east of Broadway St. in Imperial will be the next section of the city to be reviewed for compliance with Imperial’s nuisance codes.
At Monday’s city council meeting, a nuisance abatement agreement with West Central Nebraska Development District (WCNDD) was approved on a 3-0 vote.
Cost of this review will be $12,204.
This is the second agreement approved with WCNDD that names them as the city’s nuisance officer.
They first reviewed a section in the northwest part of Imperial.
Staff from the WCNDD office in Ogallala will physically review each property in the east half of Imperial, making note of any that violate the city’s nuisance codes.
Letters will be sent to property owners deemed in violation, with a specific follow-through process and time to comply established.
The initial 2009 hiring of WCNDD for the first review came after Police Chief Larry Browning had the job.
He said Monday it was a “mammoth” task to take care of, and his department does not have the manpower to do it. It required them to be at several court hearings, as well, when there were challenges.
Council member John Arterburn said he still doesn’t like the process, but didn’t have another suggestion, noting he didn’t want the job either.
He also said it’s expensive.
While it may not be a perfect process, Council member Doug Gaswick noted that with it, 95% of the problem areas have been cleaned up.
Council member Chad Yaw agreed, saying it’s the best option they have at this point.
And, City Attorney Phil Pierce, who works with a number of other communities, said if there are other ideas to deal with the issue, it would be great.
“We just don’t have one,” Pierce said.
Noting some unkempt areas south of the city shop, Arterburn added if the city expects others in town to clean up their properties, it should, too.
City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said she would check into the status of items such as a pickup and some piled materials on that city-owned ground.
Leyland will also check on some areas the council believes may have been missed in the first review of the city in the northwest section of town.
The city is currently dealing with a lawsuit filed by Byron and Marilyn Hust of Imperial, whose property was deemed not in compliance with the nuisance codes during the first review.
There was no update on that suit given at Monday’s meeting.