Council Talks Nuisance Properties Program
The Minden City Council met at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4, in the city chambers.
In the first order of business after the consent agenda, Sharon Hueftle, on behalf of the South Central Economic Development District (SCEDD) gave a presentation on the group’s nuisance abatement program.
Hueftle began by defining what constitutes as a “nuisance,” providing examples for common nuisances such as unlicensed cars, uncontrolled weeds, broken windows and doors, and buildings in disrepair. Safety concerns were a high priority in defining nuisance items, as well as the impression that it leaves on visitors, potential homeowners, and current citizens.
Benefits that SCEDD would bring if their program is adopted include “professional knowledge of Nuisance procedures; third party oversight; non-discriminatory review of properties; [and] fair and equitable treatment of all residents.”
One such way in which SCEDD seeks to be neutral in determining nuisances is by inspecting every property, within limitations, rather than by acting on citizen complaints alone.
The general process SCEDD follows includes notifying the public about the program through press releases, inspecting selected quadrants for violators, mailing courtesy letters to violators, and then re-inspecting properties after 30 days, after which violators are declared as nuisance properties. Violators have 30 days before re-inspection and possible abatement, though extensions and other considerations are taken into thought throughout the process, including the right for violators to appeal the claim concerning their property when it is brought before the council.
The buy-in for SCEDD’s nuisance abatement program is $15,200 for administrative costs for a section of the city, approximately one-eighth or 181 properties. An additional estimated cost of $50,000 was given for abatement costs, which would vary depending on circumstances. Such costs could include demolition, roll-off dumpsters, hiring people to remove items or clean up a property, and landfill fees, among other potential costs that the city would cover under normal circumstances, with or without SCEDD’s program.
The full article can be found in the March 13, 2013, edition of the Minden Courier.