Three concerned citizens approached Sidney City Council at the Monday, June 3, meeting about an abandoned mobile home located on Third Street across from the golf course on a short gravel road. The trailer house, which has experienced two fires and has been mostly stripped of materials, has been sitting in its current locations for an estimated 5-6 years.
Hugh Hutton is the owner of the property where the trailer is partially located, as it rests on his lot and the city street right-of-way.
"The trailer got drug up there and dropped off," Hutton said. "It's on our property, but I don't feel like it's my responsibility to deal with it."
Chief of Police Frank DiFonzo said if it's on private property, the police has had no business with it.
"The only thing I'm going to say is if it's owned by someone, you have to determine who owned it before you can go towing it," DiFonzo said.
Director of Public Works Jeff Hintz said the city doesn't know who owns it and it's been difficult to locate that information due to the extensive fire damage. Council member Tami Christensen said she believes she may know who owns it and although she could not recall the name at the meeting, agreed to look into it.
City attorney Tom Kalil advised city council the structure could be towed, but Hintz said he doesn't believe it's even towable at this point.
"It needs to be dismantled in place," Hintz said.
Kalil said with as long as its been abandoned, he saw no legal issue to prevent the structure from being torn down, as it was now a matter of public safety and health.
Hintz and Kale Rasmussen, fire marshall, investigated the property Tuesday after the meeting and were able to locate identifying information. The owner is currently being tracked down before the city moves forward with demolition.
In other news:
- City council held a special meeting with Art Perdue, planner for the Western Cooperative project on South Central Avenue. As it stands, the project is in order and set to move forward.
- A new littering ordnance was considered by Street and Alley Committee. It was decided the ordnance does not address the problem on the table, which was signage being left on city poles. Council did not move forward with implementing new language into the littering ordnance.
- Council approved an increase to the city judge wages for Judge Luke Savage from $24,000 to $30,000.
- Kali Godfreed and Carrie Krug presented council with the Richland County Quality of Life Strategic Plan from Communities in Action.
- Councilmember Ken Koffler reported citizen complaints about the dandelion problem in the city parks. Hintz said Stephanie Ridl with the Parks Department has been getting to it, but weather delays have worsened the problem.
- Council approved a conditional variance for Richard Dahl after the Board of Adjustments recommended a denial of the request. Dahl asked to extend his fence by 6 feet. City council approved it with the condition if neighboring property were to be developed, he would need to remove the addition.
- Use of the city parking lot near city hall was approved for Kelly Properties to store trusses during construction on a four-plex recently purchased.