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home : news : news February 5, 2016

5/16/2014 10:33:00 AM
Manor owner meets with council about abatement estimates

Center City council members welcomed South Center Manor owner Larry Merhiy to their meeting May 6 for updates on his actions to bring down his building, infested with rats and other vermin, according to city staff. Officials have also said the structure is unsound, and the city ordered a temporary support beam to be centered in the house in effort to prevent the building from collapsing before it can be removed, hopefully this summer. The city ordered the support beam in part to allow companies that assess and abate asbestos and other hazardous materials the opportunity to inspect the building’s interior for providing estimates.

Merhiy said he has been diligent in seeking estimates, but generally he said that the 20 to 25 quotes are out of his price range. He did not have the collected estimates at the council’s meeting, but he promised to fax the pages to city staff. Council asked Merhiy about his progress on getting estimates for vermin control. He said he had not moved much on that request. “I thought if (the building) was coming down, there was no reason to do that,” Merhiy said. The property owner asked how the city could be certain rats on the peninsula were coming from the Manor. He said rats are likely to appear anywhere near lakes. Merhiy said he could plan to lay poison but that he does not want the wrong animals reaching the poison.

“I don’t want to be killing city animals,” he said. “I don’t want to get blamed if a dog dies somehow.” Council and staff advised that if the owner kept his poison located in the sealed building, it should not be posing danger to other animals. In other business Staff reported that the city is now responsible for moving the DNR fishing dock on North Center Lake to its summer location near the channel. The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office will manage the transport for a small fee to be paid by the city. A Sentence to Service crew will provide supervised labor which would involve two boats on either side of the dock for guiding the dock away from the public boat access, where it’s kept in winter.

The city will owe the county $30 per hour for the job, and the total cannot exceed $150. Public Works Superintendent Eric Garner said the goal was to set the dock in place for the summer by May 16. – Council approved a request for Garner to attend continuing education for water utility training, set for July 9 in Taylors Falls. – Council agreed to set a public hearing for the June 3 meeting where council will consider an amended fee schedule.

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