The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 4, 2012

Managers working to clean up Miller Ridge

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — The Wisconsin bank that had sought to foreclose on the Miller Ridge apartment complex is now in charge of management and rent collection, which could bring changes to the embattled complex.

The change in receivership comes less than two months after tenants were told to send their rent checks directly to Joe Miller.

Tenants of the complex at 2604 N. Fourth St. on Tuesday were informed by memo from Layton State Bank assistant vice president Matt Maigatter that Miller is no longer involved in the rent collection process and instructed not to mail any rent payments to Miller.  

Layton State Bank has chosen Shannon Cook with DCP Property Management to manage the property. Cook said Monday she walked into an office in disarray. She said she is lacking information on who has or hasn’t paid rent and which tenants have current leases.

“Everything is just a mess,” she said. “It’s going to take a long time to get it straightened out.”   

According to the lawsuit, the bank wanted the receiver appointed to protect, preserve and operate Miller Ridge Apartments because the subject property, the bank alleges, was not being properly managed in that there has and continues to exist a number of fire code and housing code violations that may present a substantial risk and because rents have not been applied to pay what it owes the city.

Cook said many changes will be implemented regarding the management of the property including the requirement of criminal background and credit checks when a possible tenant applies for an apartment. Security has also been hired to watch the complex in the evenings.  

“We’re coming in to clean house. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re working on it,” Cook said.

Layton State Bank filed the suit in August, saying the complex owners owed more than $3.5 million in mortgage payments, $382,357 in unpaid city sewer bills and housing inspection fees, $453,903 in property taxes and continues to violate numerous local fire and building codes.