City councilors approved a request from the code enforcement officer to begin cleaning up a property on Harvey Lane before the snow flies.

The property, located at 3 Harvey Lane, is in violation of city zoning ordinances because of garbage on the lot and a freestanding deck that is not attached to the house. On May 1, councilors authorized legal action against Bernice Knox, who owns the property.

A complaint was filed in District Court June 18, and on Sept. 9, a judge signed a stipulated judgment that required the garbage to be removed from the property, the freestanding deck to be torn down and the defendant to pay $1,300 in legal fees by making monthly deposits.

Knox had 30 days to remove the garbage and either remove the deck or bring it up to code, as per the terms of the judgment.

However, when Code Enforcement Officer Tod Rosenberg conducted a followup inspection Oct. 12, he discovered no progress had been made in addressing the violations. He granted Knox an additional two weeks to bring her property into compliance, and discovered during an Oct. 30 inspection that some progress had been made.

An additional week was given to bring the property into compliance, but a return visit on Nov. 8 found only slow progress was being made and the property was still in violation of the judgment.

“I want authorization to clean up the property,” Rosenberg said. “The city will then take care of the issues, and they will either pay the bill or have a lien on the property.”

Rosenberg said he would like to do the cleanup as soon as possible, before snow begins to accumulate, to avoid the risk of having to wait until spring to address the violations.

No estimate was given for how much the cleanup will cost the city.

Councilors unanimously approved the request to allow the city to clean up the property.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at