Westview still not in compliance

Friday, March 8, 2019

Alta City Council voted to send another $370 in fines to Westview Trailer Court’s landlord, Roy Worbetts of British Columbia, after failure to comply with city codes on his 50-lot property, with promise to deliver more swiftly if conditions don’t improve.

This is the second round of fines for various nuisances around the property, the previous pair being $185 each. This time, the city will allow a 15-day grace period to improve the infraction before sending another violation, which could go to the maximum fine of $750 plus court costs, compounding daily.

“They’re cleaning up around there, I’ve been working with [residents],” resident Tom Lane chimed in, a newly minted board member of Team CAN, the eastern Iowa union that’s been helping to improve the living conditions of the court and repair relations with the obstinate landlord.

“There’s four trailers that really need to get their act together” Lane said of his observations. “All they’ve got to do is pile their stuff in a neat pile so someone can come and collect.”

It’s something Lane has repeated dozens of times, but something he said he’ll keep harping on with residents.

Code enforcer Matt Hess told City Council that issues with trash removal were defended by management due to the amount of snow on the ground. Mayor Al Clark says it’s their fault for waiting this much time to deal with it after extensive warnings.

“I have no animosities of throwing the book at them,” Clark said. “This is something that has been coming at them for a year.”

“Michelle Castro does not dodge my calls,” Hess credited for cooperation. “She shows interest in what we want to see removed.” They take regular walks to review violations around the property.

“We’re not going to hold their hands no more [sic],” said Clark.

The mayor has been one of the most vocal about persistently hounding the landlord with fines until they comply, disagreeing at times with the less abrasive style the code enforcement officer tried to coax cooperation for a better environment for the Alta residents.

Clark previously said Worbetts finally made contact with the City because of the expiring warnings. “If you cut him any slack, he’s going to ignore you again,” he said to Hess. “Keep on top of him.”

Only council member Kevin Walsh voted against the fines. Though he didn’t cite any particular reason, he cited a letter received by Westview’s attorney in Cherokee.

The letter claims the City did not properly serve notice of violations, which Hess did via certified mail. The mayor says it’s just lawyers doing what lawyers do, claiming the attorney’s argument was baseless.

Streetlights were installed in December, and sewers were partially flushed in late October. They took care of just two of the park’s nine sewage lines.

Previous reports of squirrel infestation in one trailer has been resolved.