City to Begin Foreclosing on Abatement Properties with Outstanding Liens
December 6, 2017
BULLHEAD CITY — Council members voted Tuesday to approve a budget transfer that will allow Development Services and other city staff to begin foreclosure proceedings on unpaid liens placed on properties for removal of abandoned, dangerous and derelict buildings.
“People who have essentially shunned government and said ‘I’m not doing anything with my property,’ are losing those properties,” said City Manager Toby Cotter. “They will be sold on the county courthouse steps unless they pay.”
About $35,000 of the $110,000 request from General Fund Contingency to the Development Services Department will go toward legal fees associated with foreclosure Cotter said. The balance of the money requested is for continued removal of dangerous buildings as well as other nuisance abatements.
“Since we’ve been very active and aggressive in these regards, we have abated properties, placed liens on the properties and there are a number of people who have not paid us,” Cotter said. “We will be foreclosing on them.”
Glen Wiltse, city development services director, presented to council members a slide show with examples of recently abated properties and explained the process.
The city issues property owners a 60-day notice that says they have the option of repairing the property/structure or the city will remove it, Wiltse said. Property owners who want to repair their property are met and, along with city staff, develop a list of what needs to be done in order to keep their property and put it back into livable condition.
Owners who do not repair the property/structure receive a bill from the city for the cost of having it done, Wiltse said. The job is put out for competitive bid and the lowest bidder is selected to do the work.
“The city places a lien for that service whether it’s $3,500 or $5,000, whatever that cost is,” Cotter said. “Then (property owners) have the opportunity to pay us. For those who do not (pay) we are now going to foreclose on that property.”
The city has been involved in 166 demolitions and 369 lot cleanups over the past three years, Wiltse said. Currently, 43 properties are in various stages of abatement.
“We are sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of properties that we are now going to foreclose on,” Cotter said. “If you’re one of the residents or property owners who have gone through this process with us, pay us and we won’t foreclose on you. Otherwise we’re going to foreclose. That’s what the (budget transfer) money is for.”
Council members also voted to approve a request to amend with two additional plots a final plat for The Ridge at Fox Creek, including a new financial assurance through a property escrow agreement in the amount of $216,399. The requested water allocation amount of 4.03 acre-feet for the amended plat will be deducted from the city’s contract service area total and transferred from Fox Creek Estates’ overall allocation.
In his City Manager’s Report, Cotter informed council members that some Republic Services customers will have their trash pick-up day changed to Wednesdays in order to prevent drivers from violating federal laws that regulate drive times. Some routes on Mondays and Tuesdays have been taking between 14 and 16 hours to complete trash collection.
“The city’s franchise agreement allows Republic to do Wednesday trash pick-up, but the company has not been doing so in the past,” Cotter told council members. “Starting on Jan. 8, some residents who have Monday or Tuesday trash service will move to Wednesday trash service. Republic Services will be contacting all impacted customers. This does not impact Thursday and Friday recycling.”
Cotter also updated council members on recent special events and tournaments, including last weekend’s AYSO soccer tournament that hosted 40 teams at Rotary Park. Mohave High School will hold its soccer tournament today through Saturday at Rotary Park and Mohave High School. The 23rd annual Toys for Kids softball tournament brings 18 teams to town this weekend, and the city and Mohave High School partner to bring the annual high school basketball tournament to town Dec. 21-23.
“These events bring hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators and families to our community,” Cotter said. “The idea of sports tourism in Bullhead City is real and it’s putting money into our restaurants, hotels, gas stations and retail outlets. The goal of hosting a sporting event or tournament every week in Bullhead City is becoming a reality.”
Cotter also reported that city crews plan to complete Bullhead Parkway striping today, but the fog seal is behind schedule due to high winds.
The next large neighborhood to receive street slurry treatment will be Arroyo Vista, Cotter said. For the second year in a row, crews remain on pace to meet the city’s goal of maintaining or paving 20 percent of the city’s streets.
Now in the 12th full week of this fiscal year, staff will be close to 400,000 square yards completed by the time this week ends, Cotter said. Material cost is still about 80 cents per square yard and total cost with labor and equipment depreciation is about $1 per square yard, about half of the typical micro bids the city received in the past.
Source: Mohave Valley Daily News