Anchorage crews haul away junk from problem property
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage crews have hauled away hundreds of thousands of pounds of junk from a property in Bear Valley as part of the city’s efforts of address neighborhood blight.
Crews recently removed 343 tons (311 metric tons) of junk, five drums of liquid waste and 21 junk vehicles from the property over a week, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.
The land surrounding the ranch-style house is now clear, but junk had been piled high, blocking all visible paths to the building.
The cleanup cost $84,000 and was the largest in the city’s history, said Jack Frost, chief code enforcement officer. The city is considering options like foreclosure to recoup expenses, he said.
The cleanup comes more than a year after a group of residents pleaded with the Anchorage Assembly to take action about the property.
Since the early 2000s, the city had fined the property on Francesca Drive more than $300,000 for operating an illegal junkyard. The owners challenged the fines, claiming they were excessive and unconstitutional.
The case eventual reached the Alaska Supreme Court, which sided with the city.
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s administration has taken a more aggressive approach to addressing blight this year.
The city assembly directed $200,000 for cleanups, and Berkowitz added another $100,000 in the most recent budget.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com