City trying to solve house nuisance problem
CORRECTED STORY ....
(Note: Attorney Glen Peterson is a City of Minneota attorney hired for this case and does NOT represent Melvin Breyfogle, as previously indicated.)
Property in Minneota previously deemed as an “eyesore” and potential “safety hazard” continues to come before the Minneota City Council.
Monday, the council met with Attorney Glen Peterson, who was representing the City of Minneota.
Peterson was asked to act as the city’s council because regular City Attorney John Engels has done some work with Mel Breyfogle, owner of the property in question. He felt representing the city was a “conflict of interest.”
Peterson, a Tyler, MN attorney, appeared before the council and later privately met with Breyfogle.
The council at their June meeting held off action on administrative notice of code violations to Breyfogle because he was applying for a rehab loan.
The city was notified last week he was not eligible for small cities rehabilitation monies due to the owner-occupied requirement. Breyfogle was advised of the state’s decision by Minneota City Administrator Shirley Teigland.
Breyfogle was in attendance and said he had not heard from, the small cities rehab grant officials, that he did get the results from Teigland.
Breyfogle has indicated he doesn’t have the funds to complete the project. When asked for quotes he indicated he would need $10,000 to finish the project located on Jefferson Street. He moved a house (previously owned by the Minneota School District) to property he obtained from neighbor Omer Laleman. He had the home moved in, put on a wood basement structure and has not completed the project. There is dirt piled behind the home and neighbor Laleman previously indicated the property is hazardous.
He said the cost of the concrete is about $3,500. “To do the plumbing and everything it would cost about $10,000. That includes basement floors, backfill and the cement,” said Breyfogle.
Attorney Peterson told the council about the options, indicating he would like to see the council take action but would prefer, “You not push it off for a year.”
He said there should be some guidelines as to when the council expects Breyfogle to get the project completed.
He asked the council for help or, “To at least give me a couple of months.” He indicated the basement needs to be poured. Currently, the house is on a wood foundation.
Mayor John Rolbiecki indicated an option was for, “The city to step in,” since Breyfogle does not have the funds to complete the project. But the city is not anxious to pursue this option.
Attorney Peterson said he would talk again with the council about a resolution to the problem before any action is taken.
The matter is complicated by the fact Breyfogle is two years behind in paying his property taxes.
Attorney Peterson has indicated he will be talking to Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg in an effort to determine the county’s action and any tax forfeiture information needed in this case — in the event the matter becomes a tax forfeiture situation.
The council did not take any official action at this time but will be discussing the matter.