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  • Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Condemnation postponed after house ownership questioned

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

PLEASANTON – Following the revelation that a former owner of the property at 110 W. Fifth St. was planning on taking over the property again, the Pleasanton City Council on Monday, Aug. 29, postponed a condemnation hearing until more information could be gathered.

City Codes Officer Sandy Atkisson presented the case for condemnation to the council, including a packet of photos of broken windows and debris in the yard. She said that there were at least 10 broken windows on the residence. Asked if the roof was leaking, she said she didn’t know.

Atkisson said she began working on the house last December, and the current homeowner/resident began doing some exterior painting after she was sent notice about the windows.

City Administrator Teresa Whitaker asked Atkisson if she was recommending for repair or demolition of the house.

Atkinson said that it would be possible to salvage the structure if the windows were replaced and debris in the yard was picked up.

Council member Melanie Staton said that she had learned that the former owner of the property was to have ownership of the property returned to her within 30 days.

Atkisson and Whitaker consulted ownership listing that confirmed dual ownership on one list, but not the other.

The council decided to continue the hearing to Sept. 26 to give city officials an opportunity to find out more information.

In a related matter, city resident Theresa Miller spoke to the council during the public comment portion of the meeting. She focused primarily on houses and commercial properties with code violations.

Miller, who has complained to the council before about dilapidated properties and debris on lots, said that Main Street and areas around the city continued to get worse. She blamed City Attorney Burton Harding for failing to prosecute owners of property with codes violations. Harding was not present at the meeting.

Miller criticized residents who kept things in their front yards. “Everything you can think of is in front of the house; nothing is in back of the house,” she said.

She also criticized homes where window coverings consisted of sheets and towels and where homeowners failed to keep their houses painted. She offered to get donated paint from Habitat for Humanity and organize volunteers to help paint, but she said property owners would need to help themselves as well.

Miller criticized the appearance of the houses and commercial properties coming into the city, and she also questioned whether a camper parked along Main Street was being used as a residence. “Since when is it OK to live in a camper in town?” she asked.

Atkisson pointed out that several storefronts along Main Street that housed businesses that are now closed have been used just for storage and have junk in the windows.

Whitaker said the city was working with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce to help clean up the city’s business district.

“I’ve spent a lot of money making my house look nice,” Miller said.

Mayor Mike Frisbie said that the city was limited on how much it could do.

Miller said that the city has arrested people for code violations, but Police Chief Tristan Snyder told her those arrests were for failure to appear in municipal court on the code violations.

In other business, the council:

  • Gave Whitaker permission to spend $5,000 on used playground equipment that was for sale in Paola. She said the equipment, which would cost $60,000 new, could be placed at ether Dunlap Park or Stegge Lake.

  • Heard a request from Chuck Bradley for help in slowing down traffic near his residence at 1361 Cedar Street. He said many small children lived in the area and he was concerned for their safety. He requested “children playing” signs and more police patrol in the area.

  • Approved a change to the city’s Sales Tax Exemption Assistance Program that would prevent businesses who would compete with existing businesses in the city from using the program.

  • Learned from Public Works Supervisor Joey Morrissey that his crews had to install about 1,500 feet of water line along 14th Street because the condition of the existing pipe was so bad. He also said that one of the compactor operators was quitting and needed to be replaced.

  • Morrisey also said that, upon reviewing a request earlier in the month that the city build a shooting range, it wasn’t likely the city could do so. He listed lack of an isolated area, costs in constructing the berm behind the target area and liability insurance costs likely put building the range out of reach.

  • Waived fees for rental of the Pleasanton Community Center for the Youth Entrepreneurial Challenge for schools on March 6 - 7.

  • Approved opening a checking account with a debit card for both the Pleasanton Ball Association and the Youth Flag Football Association. In the past, individual's would open the account and when their involvement in the association ended, they would close the account. With the city opening the account, it provides continuity according to Whitaker.

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