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Over the past weeks, the City of Wellman has made it abundantly clear that council members plan on cracking down on nuisance properties around town. Now, as the calendar heads toward September, the city got its ducks in a row concerning how the abatement process would be handled on properties that are still in violation.
Four final notices were sent to properties. Property owners will have until Sept. 5 to get their properties up to code before the city would clean the properties one by one.
It was noted that all four were repeat offenders and that they needed to prepare to abate the properties. City Administrator Kelly Litwiller had a simple need from the council: how did they want the abatement to be handled.
“Do we want to hire somebody, or do we want our public works guys to do it?” Litwiller asked.
There were some concerns raised by the council members about having the city employees do the bulk of the work. First was the time commitment. There was concern of having all the city employees tied up in abatement work that could take a while and not being able to attend to other city needs.
Second, it was brought up that it might be better if the public employees were not the face of the operation.
The decision was made to use public works employees as back up, should the hired group need assistance in either labor or equipment. Litwiller said she already had a company in mind and that she had notified the Washington County Sheriff’s Department that might need a civil standby during the process.
In other business, the council unanimously approved all other items on the agenda.
The council approved a new addendum to the lease for Sunrise Child Care. The resolution allowed the center to take over the space previously rented out by the preschool for the added cost in utilities.
Council members also set a public hearing for Sept. 5 to discuss changes to the firework ordinance. The first of three readings will be held at that meeting. Council member Shannon McCain also asked that the sheriff’s department consider stationing a couple of deputies in town on the Fourth of July due to the steadily rising amount of violations on the annual holiday.
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