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      Ottumwa City Council revises nuisance ordinance

      City council plans to revise nuisance ordinance.

      Ottumwa City Council members are in the process of making changes to the cityâ??s nuisance ordinance.

      The city's Health Department received nearly 1,200 complaints from residents last year for nuisances in their neighborhood. These issues include parked cars in front yards, improper use of electrical fences and citizens keeping too many items outside of their homes.

      No significant revisions have been made to the ordinance since 1961.

      â??Weâ??d like to look at what sort of things we could be doing to clean up the city and make it more attractive for everybody,â?? City Administrator Joe Helfenberger said. â??And weâ??re also in the process of handling all the complaints weâ??ve received.â??

      The city fines residents $250 for the first citation, $500 for a second offense and $750 dollars for the third violation and subsequent citations thereafter.

      Helfenberger said he is still taking suggestions from the community on how to handle revising the cityâ??s nuisance ordinance. He expects three more city council meetings before any updates to the nuisance ordinance are set in stone.

      If you have a complaint to make, city officials prefer a formal letter of complaint be sent to City Hall, or they ask you to contact the Ottumwa Health Department directly during business hours at 641-683-0650.To view a draft of the city's nuisance code, click here.