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Nuisance property plans gain Toledo City Council approval

August 1, 2013
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Allan Richards and Joe Lux met with the Toledo City Council last Monday night and left with approved plans to clean up and fix nuisance properties within the city limits.

Richards came to the meeting on behalf of Ron Van Dyk to discuss the property on the southwest corner of Business Highway 30 and Church Street. Meanwhile, Lux came to talk about his property at 504 S. Church St. Both nuisance property issues were resolved at the July 22 meeting.

The city council first addressed Richards, who explained he had begun abating Van Dyk's property. He told the council he had mowed the property and had trees cut down that will be hauled out. Richards also explained a contractor will soon be boarding up the building on the property.

One of the issues city council members had with the property was the trailers sitting on the property. Richards said the good trailer will be hauled out, but he's had trouble finding someone to move the other trailer.

"We are going to get a contractor in to board it up," Richards said. "I cut most of the trees down, but we have to get them out of there yet. Anything miscellaneous that was laying around there will be out of there within another two weeks."

"We're trying to get you to hold off so there are no more expenses to the city," he said. "If somebody can let me know more precisely if there's more that needs to be done, that's all I need to know so we can get it done."

After discussion with the city council, Richards agreed to board up the trailer until a plan is made to remove it from the property. He agreed to meet with Mayor Dave Svoboda and Council Member Terry Goodhart and formulate a plan for removing the trailer and discuss if additional work is needed to satisfy the council in order to remove it from the nuisance list.

The council approved the plan with a 4-0 vote. Council Member Jeff Filloon was absent.

"I thought you done a good job cutting the brush down, cutting the trees down and mowed what you did," Goodhart said. "The only thing that bothers me is that blue trailer. It looks like an eyesore. That's the only thing that draws my attention."

Richards said he would take care of the trailer.

"I'll try to make that happen Terry, if that's what you want," he said. "It will be boarded up and the trees will be cleaned out a bit more. We'll keep it mowed."

Meanwhile, Lux's plan to address the nuisance problem wasn't quite as simple. He explained how he had his plan by the May deadline, but he won't be able to receive the funding until September, because he won't fully own the property until then. The property has qualified for Region Six funding, which is first come, first serve, so he's concerned if the funding will still be available in September.

Lux told the council he plans on coming to the Sept. 23 meeting and report on the status of the property and Region Six funding. He was asked what his plan would be if the funding isn't available. Lux said he'd be forced to have the property torn down and he's already looked into that and has someone that can tear it down for him.

"The only stipulation is that I have to own the property outright," Lux said. "So, on Sept. 3, I'll make the last payment on it. As soon as I go down to Marshalltown and show them that the property is mine, they will come out and evaluate it. If they feel the property is good enough to put the new siding on it, that's what we'll do. We'll put new siding and windows on it.

"If they don't approve, it, I don't know how I could satisfy the city of what you want me to do to make it look better," he said. "It makes no sense to put a coat of paint on and say it looks better. That ain't going to work."

In other news, the city council approved two agenda items, which will both be on the November ballot. Both items were unanimously approved.

City Clerk Julie Wilkerson said she sent letters to both motels in Toledo regarding the Hotel/Motel Tax increase proposal, but she heard no comments back from anyone at the motels. Having heard no other comments, the city council voted to increase the Hotel/Motel Tax from 5 percent to 7 percent. The increase will be on the November ballot for voters to decide on its fate.

The other ballot item came from the Toledo Public Library Board. Kathy Holtz, library board member, presented the council with a petition signed by 52 residents, to amend a section of city code. The amended item would allow a rural Tama County resident to serve as a Toledo Library Trustee.

Toledo's next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12.



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