City crews spent Wednesday morning cleaning the property at 113 Oak Street. A judge ruled against the property owner and allowed the city to intervene.
“I’m satisfied,” said McMinnville Planning and Zoning supervisor Josh Baker. “I hope it is the end of it. I guess we will have to see.”
On Aug. 1, Special Judge Bratton Cook entered a judgment in favor of the city and against property owner Rhonda Cutler. He gave her 10 days to comply by removing the items from her yard or she could appeal his decision.
Baker says neither happened to any large extent.
“I think she went through it and got some of the things she wanted out of it,” he said. “She’s had since January. We started working with her at that time to get it cleaned and to stop bringing in new stuff.”
Approximately three dumptrucks full of items were removed from the property between 9 a.m. and noon to bring the property in compliance with the city’s ordinance against open storage.
The city’s open storage ordinance prevents items from being stored outside the home. None of the items were salvageable.
“I did save her a couple of potted plants and some yard decorations,” said Baker. “That was it. There was a pond in there with gold fish in it. The gold fish were still alive. We cleaned up around that. It looks pretty good over there right now.”
By city records, this is the second time in less than five years the city has taken Cutler to court over the same type of situation at the same property. In 2008, a judge ruled in favor of the city and gave Cutler 30 days to appeal or comply. The residence was eventually cleaned.
Planning and Zoning Department was aided by McMinnville Public Works employees and trucks, who handled the majority of Wednesday’s removal effort. It is estimated 10 tons were hauled away.
There is a cost to the city associated with the job. Baker says the cost per ton is approximately $40-$45 to dispose of the items and manpower for the employees will be added to that total.
“I think it will probably be around $1,000,” he said. “Once we figure out how many tons exactly, how much the price per tonnage is and the cost for manpower, I can figure that out. I think $1,000 is a good guess.”
If the property owner fails to pay for the cost of cleaning, a lien will be placed against the property.