CITY PUTS LIEN ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR RODENT HARBORAGE
Tonight I voted against putting a lien on a Flagstaff property for the amount of $622 for cleanup of an alleged rodent harborage situation.
The property in question is vacant and the owner has received multiple notices. I admit, the property is an eyesore and in my opinion the owners of the property have been horrible neighbors and their property has many issues.
But Council was asked to place a lien on the property not for its appearance, not for the fact that it is vacant and not for the fact that vagrants and other miscreants may be using the property. Council was asked to put a lien on this property because of “overgrowth of aspen trees, grass and the accumulation of leaves…provided a harborage for vermin” along with “a wood pile in the rear side yard” and that neighbors “were seeing an increase in vermin around their property”.
The City contracted a local landscape company to do the following:
• Move tires and shingles to backyard.
• Remove Aspen suckers and suckers around mailbox.
• Trim junipers off driveway.
• Mow/weed wack entire front yard. Clean up all leaves and debris from front yard.
• Remove wood pile near back gate.
For me the argument may have been more compelling if the City had actually found rodents in the aforementioned tires, shingles, overgrown grass, trees and woodpile. The reality is they found zero rodents alive or dead. It also appears to me that if there is a rodent infestation, wouldn’t contracting with a pest removal company have been more appropriate?
Placing a lien on someone’s private property is a serious step. For me, the reasons listed that triggered the work simply did not align with the actual work contracted. It appears to me the City performed landscape duties under the pretense of a rodent harborage.