City of Sheldon Cleans Up Longtime Nuisance
Date posted - August 30, 2012
Sheldon, Iowa — Final action has just been taken by the City of Sheldon to take care of a nuisance that residents have complained about for some time. City Manager, Scott Wynja tells KIWA that Burton Johnson who owns property at the corner of third Avenue and Highway 18 was given a nuisance notice in the spring of 2011 to clean up the accumulation of items on his property. Johnson was entitled to a hearing at the City Council, but did not ask for a hearing and did not clean up the property.
A second nuisance notice was sent this spring, and when Johnson did not comply, the city took the matter to magistrate court, where magistrate Jeffrey Queck found him guilty and assessed a fine of one thousand dollars plus eighty-five dollars in court costs. Queck also ordered that if the property was cleaned up in fourteen days the fine would be lowered to five hundred dollars.
After the fourteen day period had expired and Johnson had not taken steps to clean up the property, the city took action, hauling away six city truckloads of material. Wynja said the court order allowed them to remove anything that the city considered a nuisance. Items that could be salvaged, such as scrap iron were kept separate and will be sold. Money received for the sale of these items will be used to reduce the fine. However, landfill costs for the remaining material will be added to the amount Johnson will be required to pay.
Wynja has pointed out that the nuisance program initiated by the city several years ago has been very successful, and most people have been cooperative. He says that a few years ago the City would send out about sixty to seventy letters per year, and this year there were only about fifteen.
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