July 25, 2013

City orders 12th St. cleanup

Local trash violations to date nearly double last year's total.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — Logansport city officials have ordered a cleanup at a residential property on 12th Street after tenants failed to heed the city’s instruction to remove trash and other items from their front yard.

Speaking before the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety Wednesday, Logansport Code Enforcement Officer George Franklin said Jamie and Reyna Balderas, tenants at 1414 12th St., were in violation of city ordinances for trash and other items left in their front yard.

Photographs provided by Franklin depicted a door, trash, tires, a grocery cart, vehicle body parts and other items on the front law of the property.

“This type of situation seems to follow them,” Franklin said, adding that the city has issued cleanups at the Balderas’ former residences in the city.

Franklin said the tenants did not follow through after receiving instruction to clean up the property on 12th Street. They were also not present at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Wednesday after receiving a notice to appear.

The board approved the cleanup 3-0.

Upon being reached over the phone, Reyna Balderas was unable to respond because she doesn’t speak English. A message left with her son requesting a response from Jamie Balderas was not returned.

The cleanup is the first issued after stricter changes to the city’s trash ordinance were adopted by city council earlier this month.

Under the new rules, second-time violators are subject to one seven-day notice to remedy the situation. If it is disregarded, the city can order a cleanup on the property.

According to a report presented by Franklin at the meeting, 419 trash ordinance violations have been issued so far this year, getting close to doubling last year’s total of 265. To date, 33 of these violations have had to be cleaned by the city.

In other news, the board also:

• Heard from Logansport Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine, who gave an update on rental property inspections. He said more than 600 properties have been registered and issues pertaining to 70 properties have been resolved. Drinkwine also spoke on the properties at 208, 210, 212 and 214 S. Sixth Street, all of which have structural defects that were intensified after 208 partially collapsed and had to be partially demolished in April. After issuing a 10-day notice to the owners to respond with a plan of action regarding their properties, Drinkwine said Virginia Cooke, owner of 210, has opted to have her building demolished. He said stipulations will still have to be worked out among the other owners, as their properties share structural elements. He is still waiting for responses from the other three owners and hopes to be able to present them at the board of public works and safety meeting Aug. 7.

• Approved the use of Bishop Park for a Pumpkin Run to promote autism awareness Oct. 12.

• Approved a recommendation to be passed to city council for the vacation of an alley at the back of Maple Run Friends Church

• Approved a recommendation to be passed to city council for the vacation of an alley bordering the parking lot of Maple Run Friends Church.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or