Company to investigate messy town property

Multiple neighbors complained about parcel
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Town of Saukville will investigate a nuisance complaint that a property is strewn with dilapidated vehicles and is in violation of the town’s junk car ordinance.

The matter was first brought to the Plan Commission’s attention on Feb. 8 when several residents living near of 4435 Blueberry Rd. complained that dozens of junk cars, boats, farm equipment and trailers are being stored outdoors on the property. The neighbors supplied pictures of the property showing vehicles, some appearing inoperable, stored outside and requested that the town address the nuisance.

The complaint was discussed again during a Joint Plan Commission and Town Board meeting on Tuesday.

During the meeting, town attorney Sara MacCarthy said that while the Plan Commission often reviews ordinances and recommends Town Board action, that the complaint should be considered by the board, which has ultimate authority over how it should be addressed.

MacCarthy suggested the board send a letter or summons to the property owner to see if the issue can be resolved without prosecution from the town.

“If we can get folks into compliance, that is our main goal,” she said.

Town Chairman Kevin Kimmes said the town normally would not investigate lesser complaints or seek out properties in violation of ordinances, but that because multiple neighbors stepped forward with complaints and presented evidence of violations, the town must do something.

“If I saw something that was minor, I would say no, but from what I’ve seen from the photos and the witnesses who discussed this with us last month, it seems very obvious there is something going on,” he said.

Kimmes added that there are environmental concerns, noting that vehicles may be leaking oil or antifreeze into the ground.

The Town Board unanimously voted to have its consultant — an architectural, engineering and environmental science group called Cedar Corp. — arrange an appointment with the property owner to examine the lot. Cedar Corp. will then report its findings to the Town Board in April.

 Kimmes said he will reach out to Ozaukee County officials to have someone accompany Cedar Corp. during the visit.

“It’s no big deal to have them along just to accompany and ensure the safety and welfare of our consultant,” he said.

MacCarthy also recommended filing an open records request with the county to see if there have been other violations or issues relating to the property or its owner.

Plan Commission member Tom Ravn questioned what would be done if the town was refused access to the property.

MacCarthy said the town may have to bring the matter before a judge if the town is unable to view the property.

Kimmes noted that while there have been a few other property complaints in the town, most have been easily resolved and did not require investigation. He said this is the first time in nearly a decade that the town has taken steps toward enforcement.

With the high cost of remediating issues on the property, Kimmes said he hopes an agreement can be reached without forcing town action.

“If we wanted to rectify this by coming in with a town action, it is going to be tens of thousands of dollars to get this cleaned up,” he said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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