At their meeting Monday night, the Chariton City Council approved to set a public hearing regarding the nuisance property at 400 South Fourth St. in Chariton to be held on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at Chariton City Hall.

Following the public hearing on Jan. 6, the council will proceed with a resolution for the City of Chariton to move forward to acquire the property at 400 S. Fourth St. through the 657A rules of the Iowa Code.

At a work session during the summer of 2019, Chariton city staff identified the top 10 properties that were nuisances in Chariton. The property at 400 S. Fourth St. was identified to be in poor condition and to have noxious weeds growing around the house.

At the meeting Monday night, the council was shown slide photos of the property. The back yard of the property goes right into Brook Park.

Chariton Building Official/Code Enforcement Officer George Johnson said at the meeting that the roof of the house at 400 S. Fourth St. was leaking really badly and the interior of the house was starting to fall in. One corner of the front porch has fallen in as well.

Johnson also said that he doesn’t ask anyone to mow the property any more because someone was infected by the wild parsnip while mowing it several years ago. Johnson said the wild parsnip is very harmful and can infect a person’s skin and body. According to the Internet, if one touches wild parsnip, “it produces a poisonous sap which causes the skin to become extremely sensitive to sunlight, leading to severe burns and blisters.”

“The house on the property is non-repairable and needs to come down,” Johnson said.

After acquiring the property, Chariton City Manager Laura Liegois said the City of Chariton could decide to demolish the house there and add the extra space to the current Brook Park area in the future.

Council member Mike Graves suggested possibly doing a demolition burning of the property in the winter.

Once the city acquires the property, Liegois said they will have to figure out what they want to do with it as well as what needs to be done about the wild parsnip on the property.

Read the December 5, 2019 edition of the Chariton Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.

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