Junk

IF YOU DECIDE to set junk out on the curb because of an Albia Facebook call to civil disobedience, the city will have the junk picked up at an assessed cost to the homeowner’s property tax.

Apparently a number of people discussed an Albia City Council decision not to have a spring clean-up this year on an Albia Facebook public forum page. In that discussion, read by Albia City Councilmen Brian Bell and Dennis Conley among others, civil disobedience was promoted.

Put junk out on the curb anyway…the city will eventually pick it up, was the challenge.

Well, the city will pick it up. But first they will issue a legal abatement notice giving homeowners 15 days to pick it up themselves or face an assessment to their property tax based on the cost of picking the junk up and landfilling it.

Abatement notices went out this week to several city property owners with junk sitting on the curbside. At least one resident had already cleared junk off their property.

City prepares for mowing abatements

The Albia City Council also dealt with mowing abatements at Monday’s meeting. Mayor Richard Clark reached out to City Attorney Bob Breckenridge for clarification on abatements and further fines on subsequent violations. According to Breckenridge, this is how the city’s policy works.

If a property owner has now mowed and grass reaches a certain height, they will receive an abatement notice and the threat of a $300 assessment that might end up on their property taxes. If the city has to mow the property, any subsequent abatement will come with a $250 additional fine.

If the property owner mows the property before the city is forced to mow, the process starts over again if the grass grows to an unacceptable height again.

Mayor Clark received permission from the council to again hire Richard VanWardhuizen to mow abated lawns for the city.

Dilapidated buildings

An agenda items to approve a list of dilapidated buildings was scratched from the council agenda on Monday, but the mayor did ask that council members work through the city’s committee structure to place properties on the list. “We already have nine properties identified,” said Mayor Clark. “I’d like any further properties to be brought before the council’s committee on dilapidated properties and let them bring it before the council.

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