New round of nuisance notices brings pair of citizen responses

Imperial’s city council heard feedback from a pair of property owners after the latest round of nuisance notices hit the mail.
    Duane Todd and Jim Hayes spoke at length to the council members about the nuisance program and how it’s being handled.
    Mayor Dwight Coleman and council member Doug Gaswick were absent, leaving members Charlesa Kline, Johna Jabloski and Chad Yaw to hear their complaints.     
    Last month, the council directed West Central Nebraska Development District (WCNDD) to inspect the southeast portion of Imperial for nuisance ordinance violations.
    The city has contracted with WCNDD to help enforce nuisance ordinances. At the direction of the council, WCNDD had previously directed their efforts on an area north and west of 9th Street.
    The latest area being inspected for violations rests from 9th Street and Broadway, south and east to the city limits.
    Todd told the council he was particularly upset after receiving a nuisance notice on his property.
    “I’m not going to say the nuisance laws are uncalled for. I just think you’ve gone too far,” he told the council.
    He said the accountability needs to start at the local level.
    By hiring WCNDD to handle nuisance ordinance enforcement, Todd said the council doesn’t know what’s going on until notices are sent to property owners.
    He noted there was a boat on the corner of his property along East Hwy. 6. He didn’t know who owned the boat or how it got there.
    He told council members that he went to the city office to explain it wasn’t his boat. It’s hard to prove you don’t own something, he noted.
    As a taxpayer, he said he believes Imperial should be fighting for its citizens, not working against them.
    Both he and Hayes voiced issues with the consistency of the inspection process.
    Todd said some of the same conditions that weren’t declared a nuisance when the property was inspected several years ago have now been declared a nuisance.
    He said obviously the inspectors, or spies as he called them, have different interpretations of what constitutes a violation of the ordinances.
    Hayes said he had a similar experience where the same things that weren’t a nuisance previously are now.
    He noted the inspector also needs to be aware of what constitutes a nuisance.
    He said an old pickup behind his late father’s house was licensed with antique plates that don’t require renewal.

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