Atlantic CC tasks CDC with study on Property Maintenance


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council has given its blessing for the Community Development Committee to study the need for a Minimum Maintenance Code for properties. City Administrator Doug Harris said the Committee will be tasked with finding the simplest means of getting property owners to preserve at least the outside of their structures within the City, and put an end to the proliferation  of dilapidated structures, which are not only dangerous, and an eyesore, but which also adversely affect nearby property values.

He says the structures may become so dangerous, the City is forced to spend time and money enforcing the “Dangerous Structures” provision of the current code of ordinances, and ultimately abatement costs will exceed the value of the property. That means the City acquires it and has to deal with the added cost of demolition and grounds maintenance. Those costs are passed along to the taxpayers.  A Minimum Maintenance Code would be wide ranging in scope, but would not fall under the guise of the International or Uniform Property Maintenance Codes, meant exclusively for existing structure building, plumbing and mechanical requirements.

Harris says a MMC would be one tool to reduce the spread of property blight spreading in a neighborhood. On a related note, Harris said Wednesday the Iowa Department of Economic Development has approved the City’s application for a Community Development Block Grant, to rehab more than a dozen homes. The CDBG application was originally denied by the IDED. The grant application had been approved by the Council on Dec. 1st, 2001. With the IDED’s approval of the application, the City will receive a $484,500 grant, and be required to provide matching funds of $26,000. The funds should be sufficient to rehabilitate 13 homes.

Only those low-to-moderate income homeowners will qualify for a portion of the grant funds.