WEST UNION — The city of Oelwein is seeking court permission to clear rubbish, a couple sheds and more from 517 N. Frederick.
Attorney Patrick Dillon on behalf of the city filed an application to abate nuisance with the Fayette County District Court on Friday, July 5. It asks that the court allow the action and bill the property owner, David P. Luke of Elk Run Heights, Iowa.
The actions include removing two deteriorated storage sheds, fence posts, rubbish and debris in the yard, a failing roof over the front entrance, garbage and debris at the front entrance, and a retaining wall that has failed near the public sidewalk.
The court filing also states the city wants to trim overgrown trees and to remove and replace failing railings and torn carpet on steps.
The city submitted the plan after Luke failed to appear at hearing before Magistrate Larry Woods on July 2. Woods directed the city to turn in specific plans to address all structural and safety concerns.
The case stems from the city citing Luke in October 2018 for the property’s condition.
“Specifically, the siding has deteriorated due to the paint covering failing, peeling paint, deteriorated wood, foundation is failing,” the citation describes the infraction.
It also states that the roof is failing, gutters and down spouts are failing or missing, the front porch is collapsing and windows are broken or missing, and walk ways are not maintained.
The citation called for a $750 civil penalty and an order to repair the problems listed.
The city has had difficulty serving Luke with the citation and postings have been placed at the Oelwein address and an Elk Run Heights address. On June 4, Woods ruled Luke was in default as he had not responded to being served.
According to online county records, the single-family, one-story house was built in 1934 and it’s condition is “below normal.”
Luke took ownership of the house in 2005 by assuming a contract for $8,646. The total assessed value of the property is $21,000, of which $4,590 was attributed to the land. Considering a homestead credit of $188.10, the net property tax for 2017, which was paid in installments in September 2018 and March 2019, was $180 total.