July 14, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.

Wyoming council approves max expenditure of $19,000 to cleanup longtime nuisance lot

Wyoming council approves max expenditure of $19,000 to cleanup longtime nuisance lot
Wyoming council approves max expenditure of $19,000 to cleanup longtime nuisance lot

A longtime declared nuisance property in Wyoming will be cleaned-up at city expense, based on action by the city council last week accepting a cost quote from Ground Tech Incorporated.

The chief of police had been successfully working with the property owner and reported making progress a few weeks ago. Wyoming had won a court order to enter the land; but delayed exercising that right, extending the deadline for clean-up this spring while the owner was making some headway.

Last week, though, Chief Hoppe told council "...we are basically at a crossroads" and it's time to begin serious clean-up. He has also noticed piles of tires that have shown up only recently.

Hoppe had gotten two quotes from clean-up contractors and Ground Tech's maximum of $19,000 was the lowest.

City Attorney Mark Vierling, advised council that the costs can be assessed against the property on taxes, if not paid by owner Ronald Arthur Hagle. Anytime the property changes hands or should the parcel become tax delinquent-- eventually the city will recoup its costs.

For now, the cost of clean-up will come from 2011 Contingency, which has about a $97,000 balance now. Council was unanimous in proceeding on the clean-up contractor agreement.

The Tenth Judicial Court also granted a cease and desist request on behalf of the city, to cease activity related to "business" and doing "work" on the property.

The city can also regulate habitation on the property. Reportedly there was a problem with people residing in structures not approved for occupancy.

Vierling explained that no additional vehicle inventory can be brought onto the parcel. As for occupancy questions, the police will have to address these on a "case-by-case" basis, to determine if people are staying as guests or under more long term arrangements, Chief Hoppe added.

In other matters: council approved payment of $6,000 for the Stagecoach Days fireworks display at Goodview Park. The event is September 17.

Council member Linda Nanko-Yeager asked why the payment was not coming out of the $15,000 community events line item the council budgeted to try and get the celebration out of red ink. City annual financial audits have consistently noted a Stagecoach Days deficit.

Nanko-Yeager was advised the city administrator un-allotted that line item.

Council requested a more detailed explanation at an upcoming council meeting, and still okayed the fireworks contract with RES Specialty Pyrothechnics, just not specifically from which fund. (City Administrator Craig Mattson was absent last week.)

The next regular council session is July 19 but council scheduled a workshop for July 14 to start discussing the stormwater utility. There's planning underway to adopt a surface water comprehensive plan and a fee that will be assessed to properties to fund projects. City Engineer Mark Erichson suggested a work session to tackle the financial parts of the plan. This runs from 5 to 6 p.m. July 14 at the council chambers.


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