Independence Waste has once again been declared a public nuisance by the Union County Board of County Commissioners at their meeting May 19. The first time it was declared a nuisance was June 19, 2019.

Union County Zoning Director Dennis Henze presented the commissioners with pictures of the Independence Waste facility – located at 32590 477th Ave, Elk Point and owned by Peter and Kay Kramer – and the county’s ordinance as evidence to the nuisance.

“I reported to you, initially, there was an issue with the rolloff dumpsters and that was cleaned up several months ago,” Henze said. “I reported to you that I had talked to the bank and the contractor about getting it cleaned up. Well, the bank has supposedly washed their hands of the property altogether. So it’s now up to the Kramers [Peter and Kay] for a public nuisance.”

Henze said the last public nuisance was declared because of the rolloff dumpsters and those had been cleaned up. However, the pictures he presented, there is more trash accumulation in front of the main building and other buildings on the property.

“So, in our nuisance ordinance it states,” Henze began, “abandoned property – ‘any accumulation of unsightly trash or junk which constitute a health hazard, a rodent harborage, a breeding ground for insects, a dangerous place for children to play in and around or which tends to be unsightly and which does or tends to lower the value of adjacent real property because of its unsightliness...”

Henze read off three other areas in which the property falls under their nuisance guidelines and asked the commissioners to declare the property a public nuisance. He has a letter prepared to be sent to the Kramers via registered and certified mail.

Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges asked if a letter should be served on the bank as well. Henze said that he has to go by assessor’s records which show the Kramers are the owners, not the bank.

The commissioners set a public hearing for the Kramers on the property for June 4 at 8:45 a.m.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.