March 1, 2017

‘A cup of coffee’ - a page out of Beulah’s playbook

By Suzanne Werre
Editor
Sometimes all it takes is a nice, friendly sit-down over a cup of coffee to get things rolling with city cleanup.
That’s according to Beulah City Coordinator Russ Duppong, who addressed locals at Wednesday’s Underwood Area Economic Development annual meeting.
In the past few years, Beulah has made great strides in cleaning up the town, sometimes having to tear down dilapidated and unsafe buildings, but often being able to work with the property owner to have the owner clean up the property.
At Wednesday’s economic development meeting, Duppong and Scott Solem, Beulah City legal counsel, spoke to the group of interested citizens about the steps they’ve taken to clean up Beulah and the benefits the city has seen from it.
It was a slow process, noted Duppong. The plan started in 2012. When it was obvious to the city council that Beulah wasn’t growing, the city leaders decided something needed to be done, and one of those things was to start cleaning up the city – getting rid of the buildings that were unsafe and needed to be torn down, getting business and residential owners to spruce up their properties so they looked appealing from the curb.
The first couple years, a lot of the work with the cleanup plan had to do with straightening out the city’s ordinances, they said. And they had to have a qualified building inspector who could show which buildings were in violation and why. And they had to have money budgeted to use for the project, which meant thousands of dollars had to be set aside in case the city decided to demolish some of those buildings.


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