Mayor Brent Dodrill directed city staff to clean up the messy yards of vacant, bank-owned properties around Estacada.

Dodrill said during the council meeting on Monday, Aug. 11, that the unsightly yards bring down the whole environment of the town.

The city, he explained, has been having difficulty enforcing ordinances for the exteriors of unoccupied residences owned by banks.

Should banks not respond to notices, Dodrill asked city staff to clean up the exteriors and then put a lien on the property until the city was reimbursed for the work.

City Recorder Denise Carey explained in a later interview that Estacada’s city code already allows for such action.

City Manager Bill Elliott noted that the work would have to be contracted out.

The council designated $10,000 from the general fund contingency for the effort.

Elliott estimated in a later interview that there are roughly a dozen bank-owned properties around Estacada in need of some yard clean-up.

“That’s been an ongoing thing ever since I’ve been here,” he said. “It’s an issue every city deals with and we’re dealing with it.”

As of Friday, Aug. 15, Elliott said the city had already tidied the yards of at least two bank-owned properties.

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