Kahoka Board Looks At Utility Payment Policy
By Mike Scott
Should a person who buys a foreclosed property at a sale at the courthouse door have to pay any back utilities owed on that property?
That was a question brought before the Kahoka Board of Aldermen by Mayor Wayne Blum at their Monday, January 11 meeting.
Blum noted two cases where new owners were saddled with the utility bills from the previous owner. In one case, the amount owed was around $1000.
“Our policy is that the bill has to be paid or the utilities don’t get turned on,” said City Attorney Rick Roberts. “The foreclosure sale doesn’t effect that policy.”
The board created a policy in 2007 to combat a problem with people moving out and leaving large uncollectible utility bills. The current policy requires any back balance to be paid off before utility service will be reconnected. The board upheld the current policy.
In other business, the board reviewed the city’s actions taken on a dangerous structure in the 100 block of East Thompson, owned by Charles and Susan Bennett. The structure’s original building permit has expired, and it is in danger of collapse. The owners have been notified that they need to clean up the property.
The board asked Police Chief Bill Conger to contact the owners and ask them to come before the council on January 18, or the city will likely proceed with taking the building down and cleaning up the property at the owners’ expense.
In other business, the board:
--Reminded Kahoka residents that they cannot push snow from their property into city streets. The only exception is around the square.
--Discussed snow removal around the square, especially for absentee owners. The city has no current ordinance requiring sidewalks to be cleared after a snow.
--Police Chief Bill Conger requested the board hire Darin Dalton and Brian Lewis as full time officers.
--Fire Chief Lary Fountain received permission to send three firefighters to fire school.
--In public comments, Linda Evermon asked questions about the dog ordinance, and Sandy Kleine asked the city to do whatever it could to help with a nuisance property that allegedly is a drug house.