Green River Star -

By David Martin

County successful with nuisance plan


A complaint-driven program devised to mitigate nuisance properties is finding some success in Sweetwater County.

Speaking yesterday at the Sweetwater County Commissioners’ meeting, Jim Zimmerman, the county’s nuisance officer, said the program has been successful in clearing up nuisance properties. Nuisance properties typically have large accumulations of garbage and debris throughout the property. These properties become problematic in that they can attract animals and insects as well as become fire hazards. However, one of the most noticeable problems they bring is they the appearance of a neighborhood.

The program starts when Zimmerman receives a complaint about a property, which he then investigates. If the property does fit the definition of a nuisance, he sends a letter to the property owner requesting a plan to clear the property within 30 days. Failing that, a notice is posted on the property, which gives the owner 60 days to clear the nuisances from the property.

If the owner fails to do so, a court date is set and the issue is taken to district court. So far, Zimmerman said 17 cases were referred to court, with the county winning every case.

In total, during the last four years, 155 nuisance reports were abated.

Most of them were reported in the Clearview Acres areas west of Rock Springs, followed by the Mountainaire subdivision north of Rock Springs. Together, those two locations accounted for a third of the total number of reports followed. Another 19 percent were reported in the Jamestown area, with 11 percent coming from Reliance and 10 percent from Farson-Eden. The remaining 17 percent came from other areas in the county.

Zimmerman said 119 complaints were handled on what he said was a reasonable timeline, with 36 cases requiring posting at the property.

The county has made a point of trying to keep the county free from litter, most recently offering a reward to people who report on others dumping garbage on county land.

Commissioner Wally Johnson said the county’s efforts at cleaning up the county are beginning to pay off, but wondered why some chose to let their properties get to the point where intervention is needed.

“I can’t believe how trashy we can be in Sweetwater County,” he said. “They’ve got to see the benefit of cleaning up their messes.”


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