Ashland news

ASHLAND – The finish lines seems to be getting closer when it comes to at least one nuisance project facing the Ashland City Council.

James Garman Sr. attended the council’s Aug. 1 meeting to report that he is nearly done cleaning up his property at 1909 Boyd Street, even though he had not met the most recent deadline set by the council.

“I have been working on it,” he said as the council looked at photos taken earlier that day.

The most recent deadline the council had set for cleanup was Aug. 1. Garman has been in front of the council for the since 2015 when the lot was declared a public nuisance by the city council. After the declaration, work was done to remove items that blocked the alley and were piled around the yard. However, the junk accumulated again, according to city officials, and a nuisance was declared again in May.

Council Member Bruce Wischmann noted that although there are a few items left on the property to be removed, things had improved.

“It looks a lot better,” Wischmann said.

Many of the items remaining were to be removed the next day, Garman told the council. He also promised that his property would not become a nuisance problem again, asserting that he would work on his recycling projects in the garage. The larger projects have been relocated to a location outsider of city limits, he added.

“It won’t be like that ever again,” he said. “That I can make sure of.”

The council extended Garman’s deadline again, this time to Aug. 15. They also tabled an agenda item to approved bids for cleanup of the Garman property. When a nuisance is declared by the city and the property owner does not clean it up within the deadline, the city has the right to go in and clean up the property, with the charges going back to the property owner.

The council gave a deadline extension to another homeowner facing nuisance charges. Mike Lesley has been in front of the council since May regarding his property at 2602 Adams Street.

Lesley was originally given a June 5 deadline to make progress on cleaning up his property, and that deadline has been extended numerous times since then as Lesley shows improvement.

The original complaint included the presence of multiple motorcycles and pickup trucks on the property, many which are unlicensed or in pieces. The condition of the house was also mentioned in the complaint, along with overgrown trees and an illegal lean-to structure.

The council asked Lesley to have the dozen vehicles on the property whittled down to three trucks and five motorcycles, all licensed. When asked if he had reached that goal, Lesley said he still had about eight motorcycles there, but assured the council he would be down to the number they had requested by the next deadline.

Council Member Matt Meyer said he could see Lesley has been making progress, despite the fact that there are still too many vehicles there.

“Otherwise, it looks ways better,” he said.

Lesley said he continues to work on removing the vehicles, junk and overgrown trees in an effort to put a new modular home on the property.

“It all has to come out anyway,” he said.

Lesley’s new deadline is Aug. 15, the date of the next city council meeting.

In other action, the council approved a bid from General Excavating for the Dawes Street water line project. Quady said the bid was $68,296.20.

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