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Wells City Council wants burned house cleaned up

By Staff | Sep 19, 2010

The Wells City Council has waited long enough for clean up of debris considered to be hazardous.

City Administrator Jeremy Germann told council members on Monday efforts will be made to contact the owners of the house on 500 1st Ave. S.W. that burned down in February of this year.

“Unfortunately the law doesn’t let us move on this as fast as we would like. We just can’t step onto anyone’s property,” Germann says.

In May, the council passed a resolution calling for the site to be cleaned up because:

• the burnt building is conducive to harboring vermin;

• the property is an unattractive nuisance;

• and the debris is open to trespass.

Germann says the city has worked with the property owners and given them more time because they initially indicated two parties were interested in buying the lot.

“At some point they were in contact with us and told us they were going to clean it up,” Germann says.

Since then, the property has not been sold and the homeowners have left the area.

Cost of cleaning up the site is estimated at $10,000 and expected to take two days.

“Once we locate the owners they will have 21 days to clean up the property or we’ll hire someone to do it,” says Germann. “We want the debris removed before winter.”

In other business, the council:

• Will interview candidates today to fill the liquor store manager’s position.

The city has received 15 applications and Germann willnarrow the list to five. Two finalists will be picked and interviewed on Sept. 27, prior to the start of the regular council meeting.

• Adopted a resolution calling for a maximum property tax levy hike of 9.89 percent, to be payable in 2011.

Next year, the budget items of general revenue, library fund, debt service and capital equipment are proposed at $713,592, an increase of $64,242 over last year.

• Approved the purchase of an audio sound system — that will be used during council meetings — for $850.