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ALGER — The Alger war on nuisances stepped up a notch at Monday night’s meeting.
Council agreed to pay a contractor $1,500 to raze and remove the debris from 401 N. Main St. and took action to file seven cases in municipal court against other nuisance offenders in the village.
There had been concerns the Main Street property would remain an eyesore for the Memorial Day parade and be an embarrassment to the community. Mayor David Allen told council the Alger First United Methodist Church had volunteered to help the village with the removal of the burned building debris on the property, but council felt volunteers at the site could be injured in the process and contracted to have it removed professionally.
The volunteers at the church were invited to assist with a nuisance at 301 McConnell St., which poses less of a threat of injury, council said.
Council members had been asked to identify the five worst nuisances in the village. Those submissions were the source of a composite list presented to council by member Jennifer Dye. Council had agreed to take the top five offenders to court after they were legally notified of the regulations.
Dye’s list consisted of seven homes and rather than reduce the number of offenders, council agreed to take all seven to court.
“There are more than what are on the list,” said Dye. “We have to start somewhere.”
“We have been trying to do this for years and years,” said Councilman Don Hensley.
A new abandoned house ordinance was presented and is to be reviewed by council for consideration at its next meeting.
Allen said he had been made aware of a program in which banks deed foreclosed houses over to non-profit organizations and assist in the cost of removing them. He will research the program further for council.
Later in the meeting, business owner Les Dunlap told council his relationship with the village has been one of cooperation for several years, but that has changed.
Dunlap had asked permission from council to construct a wall along the street outside his Belmont Trailer Park, but was asked to sign legal documents removing liability for the wall from the village. Dunlap changed his plans, but told council Monday evening he believes he is being singled out.
Others in the village have constructed buildings and placed mailboxes on the village right-of-way, but no liability wavers were signed by them, he noted.
“I feel I have been singled out and discriminated against,” Dunlap told council.
As a result, he continued, he is requiring the village to request an easement when it works on his water service in the trailer park. When the park was built 12 years ago, said Dunlap, he had a good relationship with the village, but that has gone bad recently. Any worker the village sends on his property will be required to show written proof of worker’s compensation coverage, he continued.
Councilman Steve Collings-worth suggested the village should not service the 18 water pits in the park, but provide service through a single meter.
Until that is accomplished, said Dunlap, there needs to be an easement for the village to work on his land.
A recent ordinance allows the village to repair or work on its lines on private property, said board of public affairs chairman Don Webb. He said the village will seek an opinion on the issue from solicitor Aaron Bensinger, who couldn’t attend Monday’s session.
“We’ll let the court decide,” countered Dunlap.
In other matters, council agreed to discontinue service to one of its cell phones, pay $250 for a portion of the cost of sand for the ball fields and discussed the flooding issues in the village.
Von Suma, a member of the board of public affairs, told council the biggest problem is at the intersection of Shadley and Front streets, where the line goes into a county drain not large enough to handle the water. The village will seek a remedy with the county to the ongoing problems.
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer