By Mike Scott
July 1. That’s the deadline the Kahoka Board of Aldermen gave four Kahoka property owners to finish cleaning up their properties before the city steps in to clean it up.
The four property owners were notified that their properties were in violation of the city nuisance ordinance, and that the conditions on their property represented a health threat. The four were asked to appear at a special council meeting held Wednesday, May 30.
“We’ve asked you to come before the board of aldermen for violations of city ordinance #228. The items on your property are a health hazard,” said Mayor Herb Butler.
The board found that two landowners had made significant progress in cleaning up their property, while two others had much work to do to comply with the city’s ordinance.
After the July 1 deadline, the city can clean up the properties, and add the cleanup cost to the landowners’ property tax bill.
“We picked out four to start with, and there will be more letters sent out,” said Kahoka Police Chief Bill Conger.
The board also discussed the city’s new delinquent billing policy. Under the new policy, tenants and landlords both sign documents for utility service. Landlords will be notified on the 11th of the month if utility bills become delinquent. If the landlord chooses, they can withdraw their permission for utility service. If the bill remains unpaid, service will be disconnected on the 21st of the month.
“When the landlords see what we are trying to do, it will help them out,” said City Attorney Rick Roberts. “We’re not telling the landlord they are personally responsible, we’re just saying that service won’t be reconnected until a delinquent bill is paid.”
This policy may prevent tenants from running up large utility bill that can exceed the landlord’s security deposits.
The board also agreed that when utilities are disconnected for delinquency, all city utilities were to be disconnected. Previously only cable and water were disconnected on the 21st.
In other business, the council:
--Accepted the low bid of $29,317.62 for waterline replacement material from Midwest Meter.
--Accepted the low paving bid from W.L Miller of $83,070.
--Accepted the $600 bid from Bushwackers of Newark for the removal of a tree on West Main St.
--Approved spending $600 for rock for the Nixon building parking area (behind Dollar General) to allow the Commodities Distribution to move there rather than be downtown.
--Discussed the estimate of $2000-3000 to repair the wall of the the building adjacent to the now- empty lot on the north side of the square.
--Approved increasing the cost of swimming lessons to $30.