Saratoga home to be cleaned up |

Saratoga home to be cleaned up

An old Jeep is one of several vehicles on a Saratoga Street home the county plans to clean up.
Douglas County Code Enforcement

A home on Saratoga Street will be the subject of a $15,000 cleanup after county commissioners cleared the way for a nuisance abatement.

According to the county, the gas and electricity at the house were turned off in June, and no one has replied to the letters sent to homeowners.

Family members said Wednesday that homeowners Richard and Sharon Vigen are dead, and that the home is in the middle of probate.

A representative said the family was unaware of the issue until reading The Record-Courier story online.

Senior Code Enforcement Officer Kelli Nevills said that she received a complaint in November from a neighbor.

“We’ve had no response from the property owner,” Community Development Director Mimi Moss said. “This is a fire hazard and a public nuisance. There are weed problems and dead trees which need to be removed.”

There might be things lurking in the weeds on the property, Moss said.

Because the vehicles are personal property, the county won’t remove them, but will move them to the back of the property.

“The property is derelict,” Nevills said. “There’s a hole in the building. It is an attractive nuisance for crime and everything else; rodents are getting in.”

The 1,212 square foot home was built on a one-acre lot in 1977. It is served by a well and septic tank.

Commissioner Larry Walsh said he’s seen a handful of homes on his drive to Ruhenstroth that are in worse shape than the Saratoga address.

Cleaning up the property may cost a little more after commissioners approved a franchise rate increase for Douglas Disposal on Thursday.

The company has a solid waste franchise agreement that allows for an annual rate adjustment.

Residential users will see a 3.04-3.22 percent increase in trash fees, while commercial users will see a 3.08-3.25 percent increase.

The cost to use the transfer station could increase up to 3.57 percent.

Commissioner Barry Penzel voted against the increase, saying he wasn’t happy with the company’s service.

The new rates go into effect on May 1. The franchise agreement is in effect through 2026.

The monthly residential rate for someone with a 32-gallon can will go from $16.78 to $17.32 a month. A 45-gallon can will go from $20.23 to $20.87 a month.