The standing agenda item – nuisance properties – took a good chunk of time out of the regular Hebron city council meeting June 2. And although the issue is visited each month, the list continues to grow as more of these properties catch the eyes of city officials.
Leading the charge, councilman Kurk Wiedel steered the board through the listed properties again this month. And on this particular Monday, four of eight earmarked property owners were in attendance; one questioning why the city threatened to tear his house down, another stating he thought he was done doing what the council wanted him to do and two others asking what they needed to do to get the City off their backs.
City Attorney Joe Murray explained to the owners that this was why they received letters. “We want you to come in and visit with us, open a dialog.” The Council often shows leniency to those who make an effort to clean up their places, but it all starts with conversation.
Wiedel says he knows what people say about him that he just drives around town looking for problems. Of course he doesn’t have to drive around looking for nuisance properties, he notes, because they are blatantly there. “I don’t care what people say. This is about community,” he said during the meeting. “It’s about making Hebron a safe and respectful place to live.”
At one point the councilman expressed concern about the safety of young children living in homes with broken and boarded up windows, peeling paint and junk cars and appliances littering yards. “Whatever they’re saying about me,” he said, “it doesn’t matter because I will be an advocate of this until they kick me off the board. How hard is it to mow, paint, fix broken windows, keep junk out of the yard? We all have to do it and so should they.”
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