Union County Board of Supervisors were notified of a property nuisance complaint that has been served in Kent, 1097 244th Street, April 8 by the Union County sheriff’s department.
“Once a complaint is filed, we start our investigation,” said Amanda Husband, Union County environmental specialist. “I drive out and look, I investigate and I have my findings.”
Husband said some complaints are unjust or if the source of the complaint is not completely visible, she talks with the property owner and the individual that filed the complaint.
“It was quite obvious in this case what they were talking about (in the complaint),” Husband said. “There was trash, junk appliances and old cars. It was all very evident.”
A property nuisance must be breaking Iowa Code for Husband to pursue further action. Common problems are old vehicles and appliances that could drip gasoline and oil or harbor rats.
Another major concern is if anything on the nuisance property could be a hazard for children.
“I went to school down there south of town and when we were growing up, it was a lively little town,” said Supervisor Lois Monday. “People had their houses that they took pride in and had flowers growing and it looked real nice.”
Monday said the supervisors now have money set aside in case the county becomes responsible to clean up any nuisance properties like the situation in Kent.
“We are hoping they take pride in where they are living and get it cleaned up, and I mean all of it cleaned up,” Monday said.
Husband said the homeowner has a total of 45 days to clean up the issues addressed in the nuisance complaint. Husband also requested a written plan of action within the first 10 days to help start the clean up process.
After the 45-day deadline, Husband returns to the property for another evaluation. If little action has been taken to clean up the nuisances, the case is turned over to the Union County attorney.
If all the nuisances are cleaned, Husband sends a letter to the property owner saying all conditions were met and it has been removed as a listed nuisance property.
“The ultimate goal is to get everything cleaned up,” Husband said.