Atlantic City Council to discuss dangerous & dilapidated structures


October 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council this week is set to hold the 1st reading of an ordinance dealing with the establishment of a Minimum Maintenance Code. If it’s eventually approved, Chapter 144, which would be added to the City’s Code of Ordinances, would require property owners to keep structures in reasonable good repair. It’s designed to keep properties from deteriorating to the point that they are dilapidated and dangerous.

City Administrator Doug Harris says the City is facing a proliferation of dilapidated structures, which are not only dangerous, but have an adverse affect on surrounding property values, which tends to further the spread of urban-style blight. Harris said often times the cost to abate those properties exceeds the value of the property, resulting in it becoming tax acquired City property. That means an added expense to demolish the structure and clear the grounds. The cost for those services fall on the taxpayers of the City. Harris said the Community Development Committee has held three meetings on the matter, and arrived at the proposal which will be presented to the Council during their meeting Wednesday evening, at 5:30.

The Council will also hear a report from Dave Chase, with Nishna Valley Trails, Incorporated, with regard to a proposed agreement with property owner Ted Wickman. Chase received approval for a resolution regarding the arrangement, from the City of Atlantic’s Park and Recreation Department, during their meeting Monday evening. The resolution stipulates that the land Wickman currently uses for farming continue to be used for that purpose until such time as the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area project advances to the stage where the trail is expanded to Olive Street. It also calls for the City to give adequate notice to Wickman as to when he should withhold his usage of the land.

And, the Atlantic City Council will hold a public hearing Wednesday, with regard to the disposition of 706 Walnut Street. The hearing offers an opportunity for the public to comment on what the City should do with the 50-by 140-foot parcel, which was put out for bid last year, after it was determined it did not serve a public purpose. The property became available to the City again, after Atlantic resident Ed Leistad paid $1,000 to terminate a $5,000 purchase agreement he made with the City for the property, earlier this year.