Friday, July 25, 2014
   
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Neglected properties more than an eyesore

Village board favors informal discussion with land owner.

During a recent cruise up and down the streets of Brady, village board chairman Jack Mann counted 16 properties which are not occupied and have not been kept in respectable repair.

Of those, Mann estimated 75% are residential.

“I have people ask me all the time if there’s anywhere to live in Brady,” Mann said during the regular board of trustees meeting on April 13. “All I can say is there used to be.”

Village board members agreed those unoccupied residential and commercial properties are more than just eyesores.

“They’re dangerous,” Mann said, “and some of them go so far as to being scary.”

But getting them taken care of either by making them usable or tearing them down will be no easy task for village officials.

Legal options include nuisance abatement and condemnation, both of which come with a sizable price tag.

“If you can’t get the owners to do something voluntarily, it could become expensive,” said village attorney Steve Vinton.

Regardless of cost, Mann said it’s time to get the unsightly properties under control.

“There has to be a way to change the situation,” he said. “Any way we go about this, we’re likely to end up in court but sooner or later someone has to put this in check.”

Vinton suggested beginning with a written invitation to property owners to discuss the situation with the board.

“Ask them to come in and talk to us,” Vinton said. “Keep it non-adversarial.”

A similar invitation last year had positive results, for instance, when Bill Thanel agreed to raze the old motel cabins along Highway 30.

Board members were in favor of starting with informal discussion and encouraged written notices be sent immediately.

If open discussion between the board of trustees and property owners doesn’t produce results, Vinton said the village can

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