The Board of Works issued a continuance for the nuisance property located at 305 Sunset Drive.

The property owner has appeared before the board once before for the same reason. Plan Director Adam Rude said there is a lot of big trash in the yard and multiple neighbors have complained.

Mayor Tom DeBaun asked property owner Barbara Johnson why her property looks this way.

“It’s a disease, I know,” Johnson said. “I used to take a white glove to my house, and my husband died and I just became a horder. I’m just alone and it’s a disease, I know.”

She added her health keeps her from being able to clean the property by herself.

“I can’t put stuff in my house because I can’t take stuff out of my house by myself,” she said. “My mom usually helps me but of course, she’s in Timber Creek now. And I’ve been almost everyday at the hospital with her.”

Johnson continued to take responsibility for the issue and issued an apology.

DeBaun said the previous time the board saw the property, it was indicated that others were leaving trash on her property. Johnson clarified that was true, but that is not the case this time.

“I’ll be getting rid of a lot of stuff, like today, but I have to wait for somebody because I can hardly walk today,” she said.

DeBaun said that because Johnson identified herself as a hoarder, he felt it was appropriate to help her.

“I’m not trying to embarrass you, ma’am,” he said. “The reason I’m asking is because I’m contemplating calling Shelby Senior Services and asking if they can provide some assistance, because I’m sure they’ve seen this situation in the past.”

“To be quite frank with you, ma’am, based upon the history of the past, when your husband had indicated there were other people creating this mess, my intent was to be rather harsh today,” he continued. “But with you coming here and indicating that maybe you have a situation you need to deal with, I may be more inclined to try to find some help for you.”

DeBaun explained that the city has an employee for this situation – community advocate – and provided a way for her to get into contact with that employee to get assistance.

The board moved to continue the case for two weeks.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had anybody here before us who’s indicated maybe there’s a mental health issue here,” DeBaun added.

Other items

In other business, the board approved a request from City Engineer Matt House to change some language in the development standards.

House said in the pre-meeting that within the last couple of years his office has run into an issue with developers placing utilities directly over sanitary lines and sewers, rendering them inaccessible.

“We’re proposing a couple changes to the standards,” he said. “There’s some changes to the sanitary sewer lateral details, those are fairly minor. There’s an addition of a dedicated easement on top of sanitary sewers – that’ll mostly be for new developments, new subdivisions. That’s probably the most major one. And then, we’re also proposing a new pipe type: HP (High Performance) pipe, in addition to HDPE (High Density Polyethylene Pipe), which is another flexible alternative.”

Water Resource Recover Facility Superintendent Kevin Kredit told the board during the pre-meeting this language change would help with the issue by giving the city language to work with.

“The issue we got into with Twin Lakes, too, was they laid the Duke power cable ... right over top of the sanitary and that was a fight to get them to move it over five feet because that was more cost to them,” Kredit said. “If we can go ahead and have that dedicated easement, we can have some language to work with that says stay off that sewer line.”

The board approved House’s request.

The board also accepted the resignation of the civilian fire inspector and moved to change the dates of the street closure for St. Joseph Catholic Church’s spring festival.

From May 14-16, East Hendricks Street will be closed from Pike to Noble Streets and on South Noble Street from Broadway to Hendricks Streets so the church can set up carnival rides. This comes following the church’s change in contract with the ride provider.