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  • Last modified 116 days ago (March 2, 2017)

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Danger and blight with no end in sight

Staff writer

A home in the 300 block of N. Pine St. is causing issues for Peabody police chief Bruce Burke, which he described to Peabody City Council at their meeting Monday evening.

“I was denied access to that property both for vehicles and health and safety violations,” Burke said. “I talked it over with the prosecutor and judge at the last court session and they have given me a direction to go on this.

“At this point and time I’m seeking a meeting with Judge Powers,” Burke said. “I will be taking it to that level so I can get on this property and do my business.”

Another property Burke discussed was a property in the 1000 block of N. Vine St.

“The more I look at it and take pictures, that lends itself more to a dangerous structure,” Burke said. “There are two roofs on that property on out buildings that are in the process of caving in.”

Burke said he wanted to hand the property over to the planning and zoning administrator, and had been in contact with a building inspector.

“It’s kind of an eyesore,” Burke said, “but more so, it’s a danger with the roofs about to cave in.”

Burke told the council he had talked with the property owner, who said he was not planning on doing anything about it.

“I said to him, ‘You know I have to report this to city council,” Burke said. “So if you want me to do anything about it I need to hear it from you, otherwise it’s going to be on the backburner.”

“I don’t think we have the money to pursue it, as much as I’d like to,” council member Janice Woodruff said. “There’s several around town I’d like to.”

Another home in the 700 block of Walnut St., Burke said, is “becoming a very sticky wicket in municipal court.”

“To cut to the chase and be very blunt, this guy has done some cleanup there,” Burke said. “He has erected a fence. To me, it’s not a nice looking fence, but we don’t have any ordinance on what fences should be made out of.”

A trial has been scheduled for March 29 for the property. Burke said that for the court date, witnesses for complaints on the property would be needed, and that one has already told Burke they did not want to appear.

“I got one more to talk to and I don’t know what their reaction is going to be” Burke said. “My only other avenue to get them in court is to get an affidavit written up and subpoena them to court. We’ve done it before we can do it again, but if we don’t get them to court, we’re probably going to lose that case.”

One of the biggest problems with the property, Burke said, is that no complaints had been made by neighbors in the same neighborhood as the property.

Burke told the council he would be visiting a home on the 700 block of Chestnut St. on Tuesday to follow up with the property owners.

“If they want more time after tomorrow then I’m going to tell them to come see the city council,” Burke said, “because you folks have only authorized me to grant up to 30 days extension on these kinds of matters.”

Burke said a property in the 300 block of Pine St. was now been suspended due to “being tied up in estate and probate proceedings,” and a property in the 400 block of Elm St. was abated with an exception for a vehicle, which the owner was given another 30 days for.

Burke also reported that a property in the 800 block of N. Walnut St. had been served a notice.

“There has been quite a bit of improvement on that front porch already,” Burke said.

Notices have also been served to both a tenant and property owner in the 900 block of N. Locust St., and property in the 100 block of N. Maple St.

In other business:

  • After an executive session, Tammy Whiteside was named Peabody’s animal control officer at the rate of $10.50 an hour with no probation period, as she has held the position before.
  • City council approved a request for training for Peabody city court clerk in Topeka. The city would help pay for mileage and a couple of meals.

Last modified March 2, 2017

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