To the Editor,
The letter below was a “Letter to the Editor” in the Frazee Forum in August or September of 2017. In October of 2017, the “Frazee Public Nuisance/Property Maintenance Committee” was established by the Frazee City Council. The committee was made up of about half city officials and half community members. I was a member of that committee.
We met a handful of times to address blight concerns in the City of Frazee. The committee reviewed Frazee’s ordinances for blight, public nuisances and property maintenance. We also researched the ordinances of some other area towns. Meetings were open and opinions were shared by citizens of Frazee and also rental owners who were not citizens of Frazee.
Commitments were made to enforce “Frazee, MN, Code of Ordinances” to clean up our town and make it a better and a more attractive place to live.
I ask citizens of our town to tour Frazee and see if you see improvement in the last 5 years. How much improvement is there? Are our city ordinances being enforced?
At the beginning of August, 2017, I contacted Police Chief Tyler Trieglaff about a Blight Complaint that I had in my neighborhood. It was in an area of 4 rental houses. From Lake Street on Maple Avenue West to my house there are 11 houses. Nine of them are rental houses, some with multiple units. I showed the violations of the City Code on Blight to Tyler. He saw and said that he had given a Blight Complaint to Pat Furey before Turkey Days.
I sent a detailed list of the Blight Violations on the corner of Maple/Lake streets and some of the downtown properties to the City Council and City Administrator, Denise Anderson.
I attended the August 14, 2017, Frazee City Council Meeting. I shared my concerns about the Furey property on Maple/Lake streets. I also talked about the Blight violations on Main and the comments that I had heard over Turkey Days. I was told that I should attend committee meetings and voice my concerns.
I met with Denise and was told that the Blight Complaint given to Furey was actually a “Courtesy Verbal Warning”. I was asked which complaint I wanted to file first. I stated that would be the Maple/Lake area and filled a “Formal Blight Complaint” form. I attended a Planning Committee meeting on September 5. I was led to believe that an “Official Blight Notice” was going to be sent out at this meeting. This is verified by the headline in the September Frazee Forum.
I reviewed the Frazee Rental Inspection files as Blight on rental properties seems to be the biggest problem areas. I attended a Frazee City Public Safety Committee meeting on September 13. I then attended a Frazee City EDA Committee meeting on September 26. On October 3, I attended another Frazee Planning Committee meeting, where I was informed by City Administrator, Denise Anderson, that the City of Frazee was not going to issue a Notice of Violation. She stated that she and the Frazee Police Department were too busy to enforce the City Blight Code. Their duties would have consisted of sending a written notice by certified mail to the owner of the property violating the official city code.
Now, after jumping through all the hoops that they presented me over two months, they said that blight wasn’t a priority for the City of Frazee and that they weren’t going to enforce their own codes.
Monday, October 9, will be the 12th step I am taking to try to get the City of Frazee to enforce their legally adopted city code. The city council will be discussing whether Blight in Frazee is a priority and whether they should enforce their own City Codes.
Frazee’s code defines Blight as “the storage or accumulation of junk, trash, rubbish or refuse of any kind.” This includes “junk automobiles” which is any motor vehicle not currently licensed for use on the highways of the state of Minnesota.
If you live in the City of Frazee, the Frazee Area, were a former resident of Frazee, are a future resident of Frazee or just care about Frazee and feel that Blight is a problem for the City of Frazee: contact a Frazee City Council member, call the Frazee City Office @ 334-4991 and attend the City Council meeting on Monday, October 9, 2017.