By Louis Hoglund

Eight nuisance properties are headed for further action by the city of Pelican Rapids.

Some of the properties have been on the city’s radar for five years or more.   The clean-up, demolish or renovate campaign is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to address vacant and deteriorating homes.

Three of the top priority properties are located next to one another, on Northwest 1st Ave. These uninhabited houses and the lots they  occupy could be sufficient space for redevelopment as new homes or apartments.  The lots overlook Highway 108, across from the Crane Johnson Lumber and OK Tire commercial area.

On the top priority properties, the city has the authority, based on previous court orders, to enter the property to test for asbestos or hazardous chemicals; and also to remove items of potential value, said city attorney Greg Larson.  Owners are either absentee, or have been difficult to contact–despite numerous attempts.

The three consecutive lots are at 117, 121 and 125 NW 1st Ave.

A fourth property, at 704 NE 1st Street, has been under a repair or remove order since 2014, reported City Administrator Don Solga, who outlined the properties at the Jan. 10 city council meeting.

A permit was applied for roof replacement, but has since expired with no action.

The city council agreed to send a letter to the owner–with a deadline for response by Jan. 31.

As a general rule, the city has been lenient in pushing for action to repair or remove structures–preferring to work with the owner toward improvement, noted attorney Larson. But in these, and four other pending cases,  more firm actions are expected in the coming month.

The four other cases include structures at these addresses:

• 25/27 NW 1st Ave.

• 108 NW 2nd St.

• 129 NE 5th Ave.

• 309 NE 5th Ave.

In these cases, more contact efforts will be attempted, with actions anticipated in spring of 2017.

In the case of the 25/27 NW 1st Ave. property, it is in a commercial area (across the street from the Pelican Rapids VFW block), the city is still awaiting a floor plan for the structure–with apartments which were targeted for renovation.