Condition of properties along main entrances to town spurs discussion of possible ordinance, and concern continues for properties in town that continue to be in disrepair

    A bus tour of the community taken Wednesday evening by Crookston City Council members, City officials as well as District 1B State Rep. Deb Kiel was productive, City Administrator Shannon Stassen said.

    The tour, which lasted around 2 hours and 15 minutes, covered lots of stops related to topics that have spurred many council discussions, debates and disagreements over several meetings. The tour also served as an opportunity for everyone to kept up to date on projects and initiatives the City is undertaking or envisioning. Stops were also made in areas that have triggered citizen complaints.

    Stassen tells the Times that the main entrances to Crookston spurred discussion on the tour, and a possible “Gateway Corridor Overlay” ordinance was mentioned as a way to increase standards along the main entrances to town.

    Property complaints were a big part of the tour, too, but Stassen said it also served as an opportunity to show that progress is being made in the wake of the City’s launching of a new “Property Maintenance Code.”

    The problem that’s becoming apparent, he said, is that many people who need to fix up their properties make too much money to qualify for assistance and other resources made available by the new code, but not enough money to finance the required improvements on their own.

    “For instance, they replace the roof but cannot afford siding or windows,” Stassen explained. “So they try to do the projects in phases and it may look worse in the meantime.”

    Stassen said brainstorming on ways to help people who fall in that financial gray area will continue.

    He said every neighborhood was visited during the bus tour, as well as every park in town.