The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 7, 2013

Property owner faces fine conform to sale guidelines

By Janet Huffman Herald Correspondent
The Clinton Herald

---- — DEWITT — Mike Eckhart, previous owner of property at 221 E. Second St., addressed the DeWitt City Council concerning an infrastructure issue on the property.

Eckhart sold the property in 2012 without consolidating the two lots involved or separating the sanitary sewer and water facilities per lot as required by city code. The city notified Eckhart that he could not sell the property without doing one or the other and has now imposed a daily fine on the new owner of one of the lots, according to City Administrator Steve Lindner.

Eckhart said he is willing to spend the money to comply (citing $20,000 to $25,000 cost) “if everyone is under the same compliance order” and presented several plans to the council. He noted the current system is a viable system and a very shallow sewer line makes it difficult to hook into.

Lindner reminded Eckhart that he knew “up front” of the problems and that it was not legal to sell the property.

Eckhart agreed to draw up a proposal for the June 17 council meeting, and Lindner said it would be on the council’s next agenda.

The council passed resolutions approving a forgivable loan release for 920 First St., which was part of the 2003 housing rehabilitation program and a loan subordination for a mortgage at 1025 Sixth St. which is part of the 2009 down payment assistance program. The latter owner is refinancing the home for a shorter period of time at a better rate.

Also approved was a partial release per a loan servicing agreement with Hafner Brothers Construction of DeWitt for the sale of a lot in Hickory Bend Third Addition. The city receives $5,000 per the agreement.

The second readings of five ordinances amending the city’s code were approved. The amendments concern increasing insurance requirements for excavating, arborist bonds, demolition of buildings, house moving and plumbing contractors.

The council discussed a vehicle purchase for building official Giles Looney. A sum of $12,150 was budgeted for the purchase and $4,000 was expected as a trade-in amount on the existing Taurus. If the Taurus is sold outright, the money will not come into the budget until fiscal year 2014. Looney was given permission to proceed with the purchase and sale if it is advantageous to do so.

Lindner informed the council the Parks and Recreation Commission is working on estimates for additional asphalt on the Westbrook Trail bridge replacement/alignment.

Beer permits were approved for Casey’s General Store and Pizza Hut and a native wine permit renewal OK’d for Casey’s.