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Council Continues to Focus on Derelict Properties

By Crystal Howerton
(from minutes)
In response to a public hearing prior to the January meeting of the Edina Board of Aldermen, council members continued to discuss the status of derelict properties during the February 11 meeting.
Mayor Davey Strickler read a letter that the City had received from Jack McCauley concerning his properties at 101 E. Clay and 302 N. First streets.  Having previously informed Council members of his intent to commission someone to tear down the house on 101 E. Clay and to repair the house on 302 N. First St. for a rental property during the public hearing in January, McCauley’s letter stated that now he has decided to make repairs and convert both structures into personal storage units for his use.  Board members reached a consensus that this would not be agreeable.  Both McCauley and David Davidson (owner of the former Edina school building) were granted 30-day extensions at the January 14th meeting, which have not yet expired.  Therefore, it was agreed that the Board would request the presence of City Building Inspector Jim Linville at the March meeting to proceed with the enforcement of Ordinance No. 548.
Mayor Strickler also read a letter from City Attorney Tom Deveny regarding the review of Public Records under Ordinance No. 548.  It stated that a preliminary review has been completed in connection with the properties located at 206; 208; 210; and 212 S. Wilson and that public records do not clearly establish ownership of the above properties.  Uncertainties exist involving the unknown heirs-at-law of certain prior owners.  In that case, it will be necessary to publish a special notice in The Edina Sentinel, in addition to providing actual notice upon those owners that are, in fact, known.  Before proceeding, Deveny wanted the Board to be aware of the additional costs that would be incurred to enforce Ordinance No. 548.  Council members agreed that Deveny should take the necessary action to determine ownership of the properties in question for the enforcement of Ordinance No. 548.
In addition, Edina Police Sergeant Kelly Hayes, informed members of the Board that the property owned by Angela Harper at 604 N. Fourth St. has been sold, as intended, and will be demolished by the new owners.
Departmental reports were heard by Wastewater Superintendent Brad Eitel and Superintendent of Utilities Mike Wriedt.  Edina Police Chief was unable to attend due to illness.  Eitel’s written report discussed inflow and treated water quality data at the Wastewater treatment facility, an uneventful month for his department.  He also mentioned the repair of one row of paddles on the North Aerator.
Wriedt reported that city employees had been busy with snow and ice removal, as well as a water line break.  Wriedt and his crew were complimented on the work they had accomplished.  The City acquired 440 tons of cinders, for the cost of hauling, from Thomas Hill Energy Center at Clifton Hill to use on the slippery streets during the winter months.  Wriedt also mentioned that he recently attended training for the consecutive system sampling for THM’s and HAA’s presented by Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission staff.
Council members adopted Ordinance Nos. 666 and 667 approving settlement agreements with AT&T Wireless Services, Sprint, and Nextel.
Board members discussed an application for building permit submitted by Danny Arment for a 40×100 foot pole barn to be constructed at 405 E. Reid, south of the current building owned by Arment Commercial Contracting.   Having contacted ACC Manager Sid Leckbee, he said the permit was a preliminary move in the way of expansion.  "We are not committed to anything yet, however, we are quickly running out of room."  He explained that BRS Construction, Mike Schrage, would commence with dirt work when whether permits.