As heavy snow cover melts away in Corcoran, more and more junk is becoming visible in the yard of the home at 7695 Rolling Hills Road. Neighbors have been complaining about the unpleasant scene and foul odors wafting in their direction, according to city reports.
Corcoran City Administrator Brad Martens, Thursday, March 27, said that city officials had been asking the property owner to clean up the property for two months and nothing had happened. Speaking before the Corcoran City Council, Martens said it was time for councilors to pass a resolution ordering abatement of the nuisances by April 3. And the abatement order needs some teeth in it.
Mayor Ken Guenthner said he wanted to hold off on issuing the order until the city attorney could clear up the issue of who owns the property. Corcoran needs to know who should receive the abatement order.
Martens described the attempts of Mike Pritchard, Corcoran’s city code compliance official, to get the property cleaned up.
After the house was vacated Jan. 23, a bank took possession of the property. Pritchard inspected the property Jan. 24 and 31 and March 6. He discovered foul odors and extensive garbage and debris both inside and outside of the house. He notified the owner about the nuisance conditions via a letter Jan. 24. Then he sent an abatement order Feb. 3 requiring abatement of all nuisances on the property or filing an appeal of the order by Feb. 20.
When nothing happened, Pritchard sent a second abatement order, flagged as a “final notice,” to the owner March 21 and informed him that the property would be reinspected March 31.
Martens asked that the council pass a resolution saying that the owner shall abate all nuisances on the property outlined in the Feb. 3 order by April 3. If the owner does not abate the nuisances by April 3, the city would be authorized to do the cleanup work. The owner would be liable for cleanup costs, and these would be charged against the property as a special assessment to be collected with 2015 property taxes.
Contacted March 28, Pritchard said it looked like the bank would begin cleanup work as soon as Monday, March 31. Meanwhile, Corcoran wants to be prepared with an abatement order in case cleanup work does not happen.
Regarding the discovery of the additional discarded items that seemed to be appearing during the snow melt — and whether it had simply been hidden under snow or was being added by others — Pritchard said: “I think it’s a little of both.”
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at firstname.lastname@example.org