Abandoned Properties Look to be Finally Addressed by Bowman City Council

March 20, 2014

It appears that enough is enough and the city of Bowman is going to begin to address the issue of abandoned properties.

According to Bowman City Mayor Pete Gibbons, several complaints have been received regarding unkempt properties that have abandoned structures on them.

Gibbons says the city is now going to actively begin to tackle the issue in the best interest of the public.

“It’s a danger to kids in the community, it’s an eye sore, and it’s a breeding ground for animals like rats and snakes”, said Gibbons. “There are some severe issues, so we will be taking action; we already have ordinances on the books that we just haven’t put into effect yet.”

Bowman City Attorney Douglas Kidd said there were two ways the city could approach dealing with the properties, the first of which was the quickest.

“The first option, the quicker option, would be if it’s hazardous to safety or welfare to the community, then the city would be authorized after giving notice to the owner to go clean it up”, explained Kidd. “You wouldn’t have to take it to court because they would be in violation of certain codes.”

The city would not receive any money back for work done on the property to clean it up.

The second option, according to Kidd, is a bit more time consuming, but allows the city to place a lien on the property.

“You have to give notice to the property owner, and then actually have to file a lawsuit in Superior Court, go before a Superior Court judge, and the judge would issue an order to the property owner for them to clean up the mess, and then at that point if the owner hasn’t cleaned up the property the city can go on and do its work, and then we would be able to place a lien on the property in the amount of what it cost us to clean it up”, said Kidd.

Gibbons and the rest of the council seemed to be in agreement during their work session on Monday night, that the second option would be the best course of action.

Gibbons said they will give plenty of notice to property owners before anything is taken to court, or before filing a lawsuit.