Also, dog and cat license revenue dips
Local businesswoman Cheryl Adams approached the podium at the City Council meeting this week to express her continuing concerns for residents near her rental properties and homes for sale that have excess "junk." She told the council members that she has called in complaints for three years and nothing has been done about it.
"One of my rentals is next to a dump and another house, too," said Adams. "Is there going to be anything done to get them to clean up? Both cases are able-bodied men."
Mayor Dave Genereux assured Adams that there are legal processes that need to be followed, but Adams countered with, "Can't the city get over and clean it up? There are junk tires, junk lawnmowers and just junk."
Kent Ellingson of the Crookston Fire Department added, "If it's raw garbage, yes, we can clean it up. Pat (Kelly of Public Works) has received notices from us. There are certain processes that have to be followed."
Genereux agreed with Adams and empathized with her. "It's been way too long, I'm sure," he said. "We are going to have to buckle down on this."
"We couldn't sell our house because of the junk next door," Adams continued. "Why work so hard on my yard if no one else is going to clean up?"
Later at the council's Ways & Means Committee meeting, Finance Director Angel Hoeffner said that the city has been working on a graduated fee for junk clean-up and it should be enforced soon.
"It can't be just 10 days and it starts all over again," said Hoeffner.
Dog and cat licenses
While Hoeffner went through the current city budget, the dog and cat license section caught the eyes of some council members on the committee.
"Why is it only at 37.5 percent?" asked Ward 2 Council Member Dana Johnson.
Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier mentioned that there has been a decline in pet licenses.
"Any dog or cat that gets picked up and is not licensed has to go through the process," said Biermaier. "But there are a lot of people who don't license at all."
Genereux asked Biermaier and the committee, "Would it be appropriate to send a renewal notice? Could we allocate that?"
"I have about five years of licenses," added Biermaier.
"I think the postage would eat up the license fee costs," said Ward 5 Council Member Dale Stainbrook.
The rest of the committee agreed that the cost of renewal notices would offset the licensing cost and the discussion ended with no action being taken.