Board to decide on abatement step

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The Oak Creek Town Board is scheduled to hear a request today from Oak Creek Code Enforcement Officer Linda Koile to move ahead with the next step in the town's efforts to get rid of dangerous and abandoned buildings.

Koile will ask the Town Board for permission to seek bids for the cleanup of several private properties that are in violation of Oak Creek's nuisance ordinances. The cost would be billed to the landowners, and failure to pay the cleanup bill would place a lien on the owner's property taxes, Oak Creek Police Chief Tim Willert said.

If the board approves moving ahead with the bidding process tonight, it probably will take until September to clean up the targeted properties, Willert said.

"It seems to be a fairly lengthy process to do this," Willert said. "We are trying to take it in baby steps to get it taken care of."

Oak Creek began an abatement process June 16, when four certified letters were mailed to out-of-town property owners who had "dilapidated, unkempt buildings with tall grass, abandoned vehicles and falling-down buildings," Koile said. The property owners had 14 days to get in touch with the Town Board and request a hearing.

Oak Creek has received no responses from the certified letters, Willert said. He added that some of the letters came back unclaimed.

"These are really what we consider the extremes," Willert said, noting that two of the buildings are "unlivable" because of past fires. A house that is deemed unsafe to the general public can be condemned by the Routt County Regional Building Department, Willert said.

In other business, the Oak Creek Town Board will hear two separate public-land-use hearings from Carol and Richard Villa and Ken Rossi, both of whom will ask for setback waivers on their properties. Resident Ron McBride will request the board's permission to live in his motor home for more than the town's allotted two-week maximum while he remodels his house.

The Oak Creek Town Board meets at 7 p.m. today in Oak Creek Town Hall.

--To reach Jennie Lay call 871-4210

or e-mail jlay@steamboatpilot.com

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