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St. James City Council discuss handling inquired properties

Arely Anaya

The St. James City Council received a petition in response to the properties inquired by the city.

One concerned property owner could lose their structure to the county in 2021 despite being able to bring the property up to code. City Manager Amanda Glass thought it would be a good time to discuss with the council on how the city would like to handle structures that might be demolished since there are quite a few in St. James.

"Though there are no funds budgeted in 2020 or 2021, “I thought we could get creative and create a program, in hopes that the county will participate as well, to do something with these properties before they hit tax forfeiture,” said Glass.

Glass stated a program could start in 2022. St. James hasn’t handled properties in the past, allowing them to fall back on the county when they reach tax forfeiture.

“Why should the city have taxpayers pay for something that the county and state should be taking care of?” said Councilmember Ray Hahnfeldt Jr. “I would certainly get the county and state involved before we put any money down. But I think the eyesores should be taken care of.” The city will continue to look into options and funding."

The council approved a resolution for a report on improvement. The city will be completing a project on 11th St. N., an opportunity for water sewer developments and repairs, and annexing two properties outside of city limits for water access. The report will allow assessments to look at costs and break down the project.

The council also approved a proclamation for Sep. 23 as Leeann Nibbe Day. Nibbe served 47 years to the St. James Community.

“We honored her for her leadership that she has so graciously given us for 47 years,” said Mayor Gary Sturm. “Thank you for your service.”

The next St. James City Council is on Tuesday, October 20, at 6:00 p.m. at the community center.