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Council hears objection to vehicle nuisance abatement

By Staff | Sep 7, 2016

Due to the Labor Day holiday, the regular Estherville City Council meeting was moved to Tuesday evening.

The council heard from resident Homer Greene, who objected to a notice to abate public nuisance. The notice was connected to his 1991 Geo Metro, which is parked in his driveway and while operational is not now driven. The Geo was not licensed this year; its tags date to August, 2015.

Greene claimed the notice he received in person from code enforcement officer Van Roekel on July 31 had four critical errors:?the written notice is not dated; the abatement deadline of Aug. 15 does not relate to a date of notice receipt; there is no officer signature on the notice, and there is no instruction for the action to take that would abate the nuisance. According to Greene, this “makes the notice void.”?

Police Chief Brent Shatto cited Iowa Code 630.201 relating to junk vehicles. Within the city, vehicles stored outdoors must hold current registration and properly display license plates and registration. If it is an unused vehicle, it may be stored in a garage or other outbuilding.

“It’s not a junk vehicle, Brent,”?said Greene.

After a protracted discussion, Greene said it was possible he might try to sell the Geo, and if he could have an additional 30 days for that attempt, the matter might resolve itself.

City administrator Penny Clayton said the matter would be decided at the next city council meeting Sept. 19, and if the vehicle was sold before then, the matter would be resolved; if not, the council would try to work something out with Greene, but “if we give you multiple extensions, we will have to give everyone the same; we have about 100 of these abatements out there.”?

Two other nuisance abatements came before the council Tuesday night. One, to remove a couch from the front porch at 926 Central Ave., was resolved before the meeting. The other, at 221 W. First Ave., has been turned over to the city attorney’s office, and certain future issues will also be handled through that office.

The city council also approved property tax exemption for improvements on property owned by Rudolf Abel at 420 S. Seventh St.

The city council also approved the designation of 16 parking spaces for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities. The major changes to the existing list involve the movement of spaces near the entrance of the new addition to Demoney Elementary School. There are now four spaces, an increase from two, and they have moved to be on either side of the entrance to the school.

Members of the ELC?Homecoming Color Run committee attended the meeting to seek approval for their request to close S. 17th St. from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 25. The council approved the request.

The Thoreson trail project will be extended to the end of September as the council approved a change order extending the date due to protracted rain days delaying the project. This will result in no cost change for the project.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sept. 19.