Multiple Nuisance Properties Discussed During City Council Meeting

BROKEN BOW— Nuisance properties were the main discussion topics on Tuesday, August 24 as four properties were discussed by the Broken Bow City Council. Mayor Rod Sonnichsen and Councilman Larry Miller were both absent from the meeting, but all other councilmen were in attendance to meet the quorum threshold.

The first property discussed is located at 729 North 6th Ave. According to Broken Bow Police Chief Steve Scott, the police department has been dealing with the property since 2006 regarding a number of issues including siding, mowing, and other nuisance problems. From ’06 to present day, the owner of the house had died and the brother had taken over the property. However, he has ignored all attempts to contact him regarding the upkeep of the property and it has created a bill for the city as they have mowed the yard the past few years.

City Attorney Jason White said the council has the option of assessing the cost of mowing the property or sue the brother and take possession of the home and sell it. City Administrator Dan Knoell stated the costs that have accrued could be in the four-digit area depending on how many times the city mows the property in a year. Councilman Chris Myers asked the council if it was best to check the property taxes and see if they were paid up or if they were delinquent, to help make a decision. The council agreed and postponed until the tax information was gathered.

1401 South D St. was the second property discussed that had received a large number of complaints, but the city had never needed to step in and take action. The current owner told the council she had purchased the home in 2020, but then found out the home had been purchased on a tax sale and moved out. The new owners will take over on September 5 and the council decided to revisit the issue sixty days after the new owners take over and see if progress is made.

The property owner at 1423 South G St. is likely being given his final chance to clean the property as it has been a constant nuisance since 2015. Chief Scott said when an issue is brought to the homeowner they will make the fix, but shortly after more issues will arise. He told the council his officers are likely to be back at the property for the same reasons later. The employer of the individual who lives there said he had helped clean up the property that morning and was going to try and help over the weekend as well. Councilman David Schmidt said he understands this is an ongoing issue but is encouraged by those helping out. The council approved a 60-day extension.

The last property discussed, located at 1131 North G St., had issues previously, but after the new owners took over those issues have begun to clear up. Knoell stated the owners have owned the land for two weeks and already are demolishing problem buildings and making sure everything is up to code.

Also approved during the meeting was approving Cynthia Ruzicka as the Resident Commissioner of the Broken Bow Housing Authority and replatting the old Broken Bow Care and Rehab property from one large property into three smaller properties.