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Letter: Cleanup requires cooperation

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I read the recent article about the problems caused by the old school apartments. I was a property manager for over 40 years in the city until I recently retired. I specialized in turning around properties.

If the city of Park Rapids really wanted to cure the problem, they could take the necessary steps. In many cities, the city has passed ordinances that declare a building a nuisance property due to police calls. They can even designate and individual address (apartment number) a public nusiance, the owners are then given 30 days to evict that resident or the certificate of occupancy is pulled.

I have turned buildings around that were larger than that property in less than six months that had MS 13, Latin Kings, Folks People, Crip gang members and prostitutes and illegal aliens living in them. All it takes is the coordinated effort between the police, courts and managers. It does not take a lot of time for a copy of the police report to be given to the building owner/manager. Some small towns (Shakopee for example) have a part time community officer that is the liason.

I can tell you from my firsthand experience, if this problem of crime and graffiti is not addressed soon and quickly, it will only get worse. If they know that their actions are permitted, they will get worse. Graffitti, especially gang related, needs to be painted out immediately on a daily basis.

Jeff Siebert

Park Rapids

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