By Jan Rahn
With spring just over three weeks away, Grant residents might want to start thinking about cleaning up their property—especially those in the northwest quadrant.
During the regular meeting of Grant City Council Tuesday, Feb. 22, the northwest quadrant was randomly chosen as the next targeted area for cleanup.
The city’s nuisance abatement officer, Karl Elmshaeuser of West Central Nebraska Development District (WCNDD), gave a slide show presentation on the progress made last year in the northeast quadrant, along with a report of what WCNDD has accomplished in the Village of Venango through the same program.
In Grant last summer, 45 property owners received courtesy letters. Of those, only seven were required to be declared nuisances, with only one having to be abated—the rest cleaned up their property within the allotted time frame.
“The city of Grant did an excellent job in tackling the issues and taking care of them,” said Elmshauser.
Neither City Superintendent Tyson McGreer, the mayor, nor other council members have anything to do with the selection of properties or the courtesy letters sent to property owners explaining what should be cleaned up.
“We don’t know who gets letters,” said McGreer. “The only one who knows is the nuisance officer—even the city got one last year.”
McGreer said prideful appearance of the community benefits everyone.
Grant City Council adopted an ordinance in the past defining nuisance property and then passed a resolution in February of last year to hire a nuisance officer and get going.
The cleanup process for the northeast quadrant took several weeks, with the results giving residents of the City of Grant a reason to be proud.
Elmshaeuser praised property owners for taking action themselves in getting rid of unsightly items during the abatement process last summer.
In 2011, cleanup in the northwest quadrant will begin once the weather warms up, said McGreer. He expects it will probably take all summer.
The process goes like this:
• The hired nuisance officer assesses which property within city limits needs clean-up.
• The nuisance officer sends a courtesy letter to the property owner outlining what needs to be removed and gives them a time allotment to do so.
• Once the time allotment passes, if the property has not been cleaned up, the nuisance officer exposes the address of the property to members of the city council.
• The city council then makes a determination of whether to declare the property a nuisance.
• If declared a nuisance, another letter is sent to the property owner giving them a time allotment to comply.
• If the property is not cleaned up as specified, the city council will decide whether to proceed with abating the property and then bill the owner for expenses incurred.
West Central Nebraska Development District includes the counties of Arthur, Chase, Dawson, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Gosper, Grant, Hayes, Hitchcock, Hooker, Keith, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Perkins, Red Willow and Thomas.