Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Nuisance building to come down


July 16, 2020

The City of Sundance will move ahead with tearing down the property identified as a nuisance on Sewell Street. Letters sent to the owner have gone unanswered, said City Attorney Mark Hughes, and the building itself is considered a hazard.

The city will take charge of abating the nuisance, though Public Works Director Mac Erickson expressed some concern over the cost of such things as acquiring the necessary equipment.

“Once that’s done, then you’re going to have a dump fee,” said Hughes. To recoup this cost, he continued, “You would be filing a lien against the lot if we tear it down and get rid of it.”

The suggestion was made that the building could be burned as part of a departmental fire training, but Hughes said the city should be wary of this idea due to the presence of trees and a propane tank, the proximity to other houses and the mess on the lot.

Despite the financial concerns, Mayor Paul Brooks felt that the city has no choice but to move forward.

“She has taken the position that we’re not going to do anything, which is exactly what happened when we tore down that property several years ago on Ryan Street,” he said.

There had been some thought that the owner was going to sell the property, but this has not occurred. Brooks stated that, while she has not responded to the official letters from Hughes, she has contacted him personally to ask for an exact list of what needs to be done.

Brooks commented that he is not going to provide her with a precise list of every task needed to bring the property up to standard. The city just wants it to look “like every other house in town,” he said.

“It’s a fire hazard, it’s a health hazard, there’s an open well in the back yard – it just needs to be gone,” he added.

As there appears to be no question of the owner taking charge of abatement, the council agreed that Hughes should make one last attempt to contact her and inform her it will be torn down.

Meanwhile, Erickson has been instructed to look for “an economically feasible way to get it down”. Brooks stated that he is not concerned if this takes time.

“If it takes a while, it takes a while. If she’d done what she was supposed to, we wouldn’t be in this position,” he said. “We’re in this position because she opted to not do what she should have done.”

The council also discussed a second nuisance property that was identified at last month’s meeting. A letter was sent to the renter, said Hughes, and it appears that the property is being cleaned up.

“It’s getting quite a lot better,” agreed Brooks.


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