Marysville, church volunteers clean up nuisance property

MARYSVILLE – Mike Oleson got an early Christmas present Tuesday – one he’d been wanting for five years.

Code Enforcement and other city workers, along with some church volunteers, cleaned up a yard in the 9400 block of 57th Drive. “There were rats” last summer, Oleson said, adding, “This is more than I expected” when he was told a cleanup would take place.

Oleson said he went to the City Council about his neighbors and was part of the community effort to pass the city’s Public Nuisance ordinance in 2016.

“It brings property values down,” he said of homes that are not kept up.

Don Winder of the Universal Life Church of Snohomish County in Tulalip, said they wanted to help. A woman who lives in the home is affiliated with the church. She helps homeless and takes in people off the streets.

Some are a “bad element,” Winder said.

The woman had received numerous tickets and fines from Code Enforcement, but was overwhelmed, Winder said.

“It was an eyesore for a long time,” he said. “People complained, so we asked the city” if we could help clean it up.

A motto of the church is, “Helping Hands, Helping Those With Less.”

As part of the arrangement, residents also had to help in the clean up.

Doug Lee of Code Enforcement said the city doesn’t normally help clean up nuisance homes. But in this case it did because the garbage outside created a public nuisance. The city didn’t touch the inside of the home or garage.

“It became a neighborhood problem,” he said, adding he hopes this effort will give the tenants the boost they need to get the rest of the property in compliance.

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