County of Wetaskiwin council read a report at their general meeting describing clean-up of an unsightly premises in the municipality with a bill of over $8,000 for the resident.
The agenda item was presented to council by Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley, who requested the clean-up bill for the yard in Wizard Ridge Estates be transferred to the landowner’s tax bill.
“On August 23, 2018, Protective Services received a complaint regarding vehicles parked on a county roadway and the unsightly condition of the property legal described as Lot 14, Block 1, Plan 8221631, NE 12-48-28-W4M in the Wizard Ridge Estates Subdivision,” stated Chipley in his memo.
“On this date, Protective Services confirmed that the property was indeed in an unsightly condition and vehicles were parked on a county roadway. The property owner, who resides on the property, was warned both verbally and in written form and advised to remove the vehicles from the county roadway by 3 p.m. on August 26, 2018 and have the property cleaned up to a satisfactory condition by September 20, 2018.
“On August 28, 2018 the vehicles were confirmed to be off the county roadway.
“On September 24, 2018, a follow-up was conducted and no remedial action to the unsightly condition of the property was made, nor was there any prior communication by the property owner between August 23, 2018 and this date. Therefore, a Stop Order was sent by registered mail to the property owner listed on title on September 25, 2018, ordering clean-up of the property by October 16, 2018.
“The Stop Order was confirmed received on September 26, 2018. On October 18, 2018, a follow-up regarding the Stop Order was conducted and no remedial action to the unsightly condition of the property was made, nor was there any communication from the property owner asking for an extension.
“Therefore, a Violation Ticket was issued under Section 3.6 of the Nuisance and Unsightly Premise Bylaw 2018/52, Fail to Comply with an Order. After the Violation Ticket was ‘Convicted in Absence’ on December 12, 2018, a second Stop Order was sent by registered mail on December 19, 2018. The Stop Order was refused upon delivery and returned to the County on December 21, 2019.
“Therefore, the Stop Order was hand delivered to the property owner at the aforementioned property on December 28, 2018, ordering clean-up by May 31, 2019. On May 31, 2019, a follow-up regarding the Stop Order was conducted and no remedial action to the unsightly condition of the property was made, nor was there any communication from the property owner asking for an extension.
“Therefore, the property owner was served with a Notice of Entry for the clean-up of the property on June 6, 2019. On June 6 and 7, 2019, clean-up of the property was completed by Sunrise Estate Services.
“Due to the extensiveness of the clean-up, the total cost was $8,403.90. On June 24, 2019, an invoice was sent to the property owner listed on title for payment of the clean-up fees of the unsightly condition of the property for $8,403.90. On September 5, 2019, penalties of $126.06 were added to the outstanding amount for the property.
“To date, no acknowledgement of the invoice has been received and Administration is of the opinion that there is no willingness for the property owner to pay the invoice. Therefore, Administration is bringing forward this unpaid invoice for unsightly premise clean-up to be added to the tax roll. In accordance with the Municipal Government Act, Section 553(1)(c) states that Council may add unpaid and expenses and costs associated with the bringing of a property into compliance with an enacted bylaw as long as the contravention occurred on all or part of the parcel,” added Chipley.
Councilors were shown photos of the property in question before and after clean-up. Chipley stated the original complaint came from the public, and the unsightly premises was visible through trees along the road, noting the amount of rubbish was considerable. “It took two full days to clean this property to a satisfactory state,” said Chipley, who noted the parcel is just over one acre in size.
Councilor Josh Bishop asked where the rubbish that was removed from the property in question went. Chipley answered most of the rubbish was practically garbage and treated as such. Some was organized and left on the property but none was deemed valuable enough to be auctioned.
Councilor Dale Woitt stated the dollar value of over $8,000 seemed high. Chipley answered that price came from the contractor and actually ended up being cheaper than the quote.
Chipley repeated that the County of Wetaskiwin tried a number of times to get the landowner to clean up the property himself.
Councilor Lyle Seely agreed, saying, “He had plenty of opportunity to clean it up himself.”
Councilors unanimously agreed to transfer the clean-up bill to the landowner’s tax bill.