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OUR VIEW: Good to see county address nuisance properties

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Members of the Davison County Commission are on the right track when they say they want to address potential nuisance properties in a neighborhood on the extreme west end of Mitchell.

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During their meeting Tuesday, commissioners reacted to an anonymous complaint about alleged public nuisances in the area around the 1600 and 1700 blocks of West Third to West Sixth avenues. The complaint contends that some of the properties present public health hazards and that they are loaded with debris and abandoned vehicles and machinery, among other things.

We don't know it's true. Perhaps a drive through the neighborhood could shed some light on the issue, but we don't claim to be experts in determining nuisance property. We do know that Planning and Zoning Administrator Jeff Bathke said he toured the area recently and reported that some of the properties are worse than previously thought.

Because of the way city boundaries work out, the neighborhood in question is actually outside Mitchell property, and that's where the big problem begins. While the city has zoning authority on that part of town, it doesn't actually have the authority to enforce city nuisance codes.

That's where the county needs to step in, and it sounds like it's going to happen. Upon Bathke's suggestion, the county will send registered letters to offending property owners, who will have seven days to respond. Failure to do so could result in action by the Davison County state's attorney.

This action is right, and we're glad it's happening. Mitchell has done a great job of cleaning up nuisance properties in recent years, but evidently some troublesome pockets exist. Just because these pockets may lie outside of the city's jurisdiction shouldn't mean they are exempt from having to take care of their property.

If their homes or yards need to be tidied, they should be required to do so.

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