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Wells works to get rid of elevator

By Staff | Jan 24, 2011

This grain bin in Wells shows signs of damage along the roof. It was also blown a bit off of its foundation.

Wells officials have laid the legal groundwork to clean up property on the north end of Main Street that has been an eyesore for several years.

At their last meeting. City Council members approved paying City Attorney David Frundt nearly $725 for work he did regarding the abandoned Frank Bros. Elevator properties.

City Administrator Jeremy Germann says the city now has search warrants to conduct on-site inspections.

“We want to make sure the structures comply with state and city codes. We’ll only go to court if we are told they are unsafe,” he says.

One way or another, the city wants the properties cleaned up.

This old elevator facility in Wells has been targeted for clean up by the City Council.

Germann says efforts to talk with the property owners have been unsuccessful.

An engineering firm has been contacted about inspecting the buildings.

Germann says he hopes to have cost estimates for the council by tonight’s meeting.

City officials have some concern that a grain bin located on one of the properties poses a safety hazard.

Germann says high winds from a summer storm moved the bin about two feet off its foundation.

“Hopefully we don’t get any high winds, that would cause more deterioration and make the bin more unsafe,” he adds.

The city has about $5,000 set aside to clean up properties considered to be a public nuisance and pose a safety or health hazard.

Although five Frank Bros. Elevator parcels of property have not been tax-forfeited, the owners have until the end of this year to catch up on back taxes.

Records at the county auditor’s office show more than $11,356 is owed on four parcels for a three-year period. The taxes must be paid in full by the end of the year or the tax forfeiture process will begin.

If that happens, it will mean Wells officials will not be able to recover any clean-up costs by adding them to the property tax statements.