Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 4, 2017 Feature - Wellman - Timeline set for nuisance enforcement of properties
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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After the May 1 city council meeting, the city of Wellman had a set timeline in place to start enforcing the nuisance policy within city limits.

The city was divvied up between the council members and each were assigned roads to drive down to look for properties that may be in violation of the city’s nuisance ordinance, whether that be junk in the yard or buildings not looking up to city code.

If they find a building they believe is in violation of city code, they were instructed to document the issues on the property in pictures, put a door hanger on the property’s door, and write a description of the supposed violation in the notes for City Administrator Kelly Litwiller.

In looking over their respective lists, some questions were brought up by the council concerning what the city was allowed to check, like if the nuisance occurred in the backyard. Litwiller said that they could only document what they could see from city property, like the right of way.

Litwiller said if the officials were unsure whether the property was in violation, to document what they believed was the problem and Litwiller would handle any issues if people called in questioning the placement of the door hanger.

The theory behind the timing is to give properties alerted that they are in violation of city code and they have the May 12 and May 13 cleanup days to take care of the nuisance.

The city officials assigned to a certain area would then follow up and re-check the property between May 15 and May 19 and make a note of whether the nuisance had been taken care of.

For properties still in violation, the city will send out a letter notifying the property owner that they have until May 28 to fix the problem before the city moved forward with the abatement process.

The city has had some success with just using the door hangers in the past, so Litwiller is hopeful that the enforcement of the policy has the desired result of cleaning up the properties that are in violation of the city code.

Litwiller stated that the city is only utilizing this tactic to start the process with the plan being that the city will have gotten the ball rolling on enforcement by the end of the month and that city hall would enforce the policy beyond that point.

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