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Local News

January 24, 2013

Homeowner arrested following city council meeting, charged with municipal infractions

CENTERVILLE — Monday night the Centerville City Council passed almost every agenda item except a request made by a homeowner's representative for more time to comply with a building and code compliance order.

Billie L. Mulder, of Moulton, who owns the houses at 524 W. Washington St. and 304 E. Washington St. in Centerville, had a representative approach the council asking for more time to implement the changes mandated by George Johnson, building and code compliance officer.

Johnson tagged both properties earlier in January giving Mulder 120 days to comply with his second notice to demolish both properties. Johnson said in June of 2010 he issued the first notice to Mulder to correct deficiencies in the two structures and get then into compliance.

In a somewhat related matter, Mulder was arrested at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall by the Centerville Police Department and charged with municipal infractions, failure to apply for a rent permit for the 304 E. Washington St. property, dating back to June of 2010.

Mayor Jim Senior called the two properties Mulder owns a "public eyesore."

Johnson said Mulder has had several years to fix up the houses. He said inside and out the properties need work.

"There are just several things that are wrong with both of those structures," Johnson said. "They both are to the point that they need to be renovated or demolished."

 What the council passed:

• The mayor's committee appointments to the Fair Housing Commission of Jennifer Appler, Jay Rogers, Mark Dekker and Shirley Payer and to Historic Preservation of Bette Howell and John Holeman.

• The city's $1,000 membership dues with Appanoose Economic Development Corporation.

• Revenues generated by the sale of lots in the city will be devoted to the Building and Code Compliance Department for up coming demolition projects.

• A resolution to convey lot 25 in Bella Vista to Patti Cisler for $6,000.

• An agreement for temporary and part-time certified wastewater operator with Hall Engineering Co., of Centerville, for an initial fee of $2,000. The agreement calls for Hall Engineering to act as a facilitator to provide or make available a certified Grade 4 operator for the city's wastewater facilities.

The agreement calls for $720 per week to be paid throughout the terms of the agreement, which started Jan. 21 and is scheduled to end April 12.

A letter dated Jan. 14 from Centerville Mayor Jim Senior to Ted Petersen, supervisor, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, states the city has engaged part-time services of Grade 4 operator Gary Hull to provide operator-in-charge services for operation of its wastewater facilities from Jan. 21 through April 12.

Steve Hawkins, currently a certified Grade 2 operator, is scheduled to take the Grade 3 exam in mid-February and again in mid-March should he not pass it the first time.

The city's operator-in-charge of the wastewater facilities must possess a minimum of Grade 3 certification.

If Hawkins does not pass the Grade 3 exam, the city will contact People Service, Inc., of Omaha to discuss providing a certified Grade 3 operator for its wastewater facilities and then advertise employment for a certified Grade 3 operator.

• The submission of the fiscal year 2012 annual Urban Renewal (TIF) Report to the state.

A brief discussion was held concerning the sewer lining project.

The meeting adjourned at 6:06 p.m. The next regular council meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4 at City Hall.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new positions in the police department to only deal with minimum housing and nuisance abatement issues. The city currently has George Johnson as the only employee assigned to enforce building code compliance issues. Does Centerville need more than just Johnson to enforce code compliance issues? So, the question of the week is, "Should Centerville hire additional help to assist George Johnson enforce building code compliance issues?"

A. Yes
B. No
C. Not sure
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