Getting the city cleaned up was again a topic at Grand Coulee’s city council meeting April 3.
Becky Billups, who lives on Burdin Boulevard, appeared for the second time to ask city officials what they were going to do about the mess in her neighborhood. Two weeks earlier she had told the council that it was getting to look like a “ghetto” on Burdin Boulevard.
Billups argued last week that if she wanted to improve her property permits would be required and there would be a penalty if she didn’t pay for them. But, she said, “people can let their properties go and there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it. … I don’t get it.”
Grand Coulee’s nuisance ordinance covers wide variety of infractions, including weeds, dead animals, debris and old cars.
The penalty under city law is up to $500 a day, with each day a new violation.
In discussions, Mayor Chris Christopherson and council members were concerned with the potential cost of litigation if the city cracked down on property owners who violate the ordinance.
“Maybe you have the wrong attorney,” Billups offered.
One provision within the ordinance is that the city can have a compliance officer who checks on complaints and deals with property owners in violation. The city doesn’t have a compliance officer.
Electric City has had a compliance officer, Gary Haven, for the past few years.
Electric City Clerk Jackie Perman said this week that Haven has produced “awesome” results. “Gary talks with people and they, for the most part, clean up their properties,” she said.
“I understand your concern and we are going to move forward,” Christopherson told Billups last week.
Billups responded, “I watch it get worse every day.”