■ Focus moves back to original fire hall site north of library. PAGE 1.
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Nuisance properties were a big piece of Monday’s council meeting as city officials addressed a pair of abandoned mobile homes, a property’s ongoing cleanup and heard a report on other properties that had been in non-compliance with codes.
After two show-cause hearings Monday regarding mobile homes at 310 and 314 Eskew, the council approved resolutions that “impound in place” both of them.
The properties were posted to that effect Tuesday, and the owner, who lives in Colorado, has 30 days from that posting to either come take possession or meet codes.
After 30 days and no action by the owner, the city can acquire an “abandoned” title for the mobile homes and in effect can then remove them from the property, said City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland.
The property owner has not responded to previous notices.
Karl Elmshauser of West Central Nebraska Development District (WCNDD), the city’s nuisance officer, presented more than 20 exhibits on each property during the show cause hearings conducted by City Attorney Josh Wendell.
Included in those exhibits were photos, courtesy notification letters, resolutions declaring them nuisances and a letter from the building inspector that both properties are uninhabitable.
It’s expected the cost of removing the trailers to a certified landfill will run between $4,000 and $6,000 each. Those costs can be assessed back to the property owner, in effect, as a lien against the property on which they sat.
Larry and Jeanette Munger were at the meeting to ask the council if an “end date” for cleanup at a property next door to them at 226 West 13th had been determined.
The owner has begun to take down the abandoned home on the property, and Larry Munger said a lot of progress has been made lately and hopes there isn’t another “period of dormancy.” Mayor Dwight Coleman said he and the police chief will continue to monitor the situation.
Elmshauser said a total of 22 properties are being monitored in Imperial that are in different stages of the nuisance code enforcement process. Those include ones identified in 2014 and previous years.
Of that group, Elmshauser said two have been turned over to the county attorney for citations and eight others will likely go to an abatement process.
Other council business
The city's new comprehensive plan is now in place for Imperial with a unanimous vote to approve its resolution Monday night. The updating process has been underway for a year and a half with guidance from Miller & Associates. It will serve as a guide for the city council and planning commission during the next 10 years with regard to future growth. Sections of the plan deal with future land use, recreation, potential annexation, commercial and residential development and marketing of Imperial. No action was taken on the updated zoning regulations as the council continues to discuss some of those updates. Discussion will continue at the council’s next meeting when they will be before the body for second reading. One of the areas discussed Monday were accessory buildings. Miller & Associates worked with the city in acquisition of grant funds that paid for about half of the comprehensive plan and zoning regs updates. Numerous meetings have been held over the past year and a half with the public and planning commission, where the planners got insight into what the community wanted as they look to the future.
Budget time is nearing and one of the early items the city council addressed was the Imperial Airport Authority’s 2014-15 request of $13,000 in property tax support, excluding their bond payments, for the airport operation. That is the same amount asked for in 2013-14, said City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said. The airport gains other income for its operation from hangar rental, cropland rent and federal funds. The city owns the airport and is managed by the Airport Authority, with a lot of oversight from the FAA, Leyland added. The council voted 3-0 to approval the $13,000 property tax request.
A New ice cream machine at manor and came with a lower price than estimated two weeks ago. The machine which will also be used by residents in the Parkview/Heights facilities was purchased for $4,000 because they were able to purchase a demo model, said administrator Peggi Davidson. At the last council meeting, action was taken to approve $6,000 in sales tax fund support for the expected $7,500 unit. Davidson also reported they had raised close to $1,000 for the machine. Clerk/Administrator Leyland indicated it will likely be a council decision on what to do with their earlier vote since the unit cost less than the sales tax fund contribution. In a census update, Davidson reported 33 manor residents, 14 in Parkview, 11 in Heights and a 28 to 30 average in the child care facility.