By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
While a lot of progress has been made toward cleaning it up, neighbors of a property declared a nuisance in Imperial remain concerned.
Monday’s city council meeting included updates from the city’s nuisance officer, West Central Nebraska Development District (WCNDD), who was represented by C.J. Poltack.
One of the properties included in the report at 226 West 13th brought Larry and Jeanette Munger to the meeting. The couple has attended several meetings the past months to follow progress on the property next to their home.
Poltack said a lot of activity has taken place at the 226 West 13th site in recent weeks, including removal of a shed and cottage. The property was sold last month to a new owner.
Because of that, Poltack suggested the new owner receive all the documentation on where the property stands with regard to compliance with the nuisance codes.
However, the Mungers, who said the new owner is working hard at getting it cleaned up, expressed immediate concern over a dead tree that hovers over their property.
Jeanette Munger, who operates a daycare at her home, said their concern is that the tree is leaning toward their property, leaving her unable to use the play yard for the youths due to the prospect of it falling there.
“We really need our yard,” she said.
She would like to see the council set a specific date for removal of the tree.
The location of that tree and its closeness to the house and attached garage will make it difficult for removal, according to the discussion.
City Attorney Josh Wendell reminded the mayor and council the status of the property regarding nuisances goes with the property, and timelines do not change if the property sells.
According to Poltack, the council declared the 226 West 13th property a nuisance by resolution on Aug. 8 and a motion to abate it (remove the nuisances) was passed on Sept. 3. The initial courtesy letter went out to the previous owner on June 1.
Council President Chad Yaw said he is torn about the situation, noting the cleanup progress already made, but would like to see the tree down by the end of the year.
In the end, Poltack said she would send out another courtesy letter to the new owner, outlining the current situation in the notification process, and will include mention of concern about the tree.
While most said the new owner was aware of the nuisance issues when the property was purchased, he had not been notified officially by letter from WCNDD.
At the council’s request, a follow-up report will be given at the council’s Dec. 2 meeting.
In related action, the council removed three properties from the list, which had been declared nuisances in previous council action. Poltack said all have been cleared of the nuisances at 1136 Grant, 325 East 4th and 234 East 18th Sts.
Another property at 226 West 11th St., was approved for abatement. Poltack said it had previously been declared a nuisance, but problems remain. The situation may have to be forwarded to the Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ), she said, due to items such as oil on the property. There has been no activity on cleanup, she said.
WCNDD is monitoring progress on four other nuisance properties, she reported.
Other council business
- No discussion of the police chief position came up at the meeting. Ray Wolgamott had requested to be on the agenda to discuss police officer salaries and bonuses, but did not attend the meeting.
- After about an hour in closed session to discuss purchase of property for a potential new fire hall building, no action resulted. City officials and members of the Chase County School board of education have been meeting over recent months on negotiations for purchasing school property located on the Wellington site. The fire department has expressed interest in locating their fire hall on a north section of the Wellington football field.
- Werner Construction, general contractor for the Sage Addition street work, was granted a 15-day extension to Dec. 5 to finish the work to “substantial completion.” Public Works Supt. Pat Davison said he and engineer Kent Cordes agreed the firm should be granted the additional 15 days due to weather and delays in getting the gas company to lower their gas lines as needed to proceed with the street work. In related action, the council approved pay requests to the contractors working in both the Sage Addition and Cornerstone, as well as the engineers, as follows: Van Kirk $198,285.75, Werner Construction $959,543.52 and Miller & Associates $128,349.06.
- A total of $2,186.44 in unpaid utility accounts were written off so they could be removed from the city’s accounts receivables. City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said they will continue to make efforts to collect those outstanding bills.