Hopefully this soap opera will end

Hopefully this soap opera will end by the Plain Talk Some people are big fans of soap operas.

Let�s face it. Such TV dramas, with story lines that are played out month after month, have stood the test of time.

Soap operas, however, should always be fiction, limited solely to the TV tube.

Unfortunately, that isn�t happening here in Vermillion. We have a soap opera brewing in our midst. The script was first written at least four or five years ago.

And it just seems to grow more dramatic and complicated.

It all started when Troy Boysen decided to purchase the big, old, run down house at 104 N. University.

He wants to restore it to its original splendor. You have to use your imagination (especially now since its two-story porch with a curved wooden railing has been removed) but the house was, no doubt, a jewel in the community when it was new.

Time and neglect have changed all of that. It is an eyesore. And, for a time, city officials worried that it threatened more than the aesthetics of its neighborhood. They couldn�t be certain that the house was safe. The porch, admittedly, looked like it was ready to slide off on its own before Boysen finally had it removed.

Boysen has made some progress. But he seems to be taking baby steps at a time when great strides are needed.

And, frankly, it�s fair to say he�s cried �wolf� too many times. The city has granted him several extensions, but he still keeps missing the deadlines proposed in the settlement agreement for the property.

We suggest Boysen heed Mayor Dan Christopherson�s advice, and concentrate on priming and painting the structure in the next month. Despite the work that has been accomplished at the site over the past year or two, the house remains an eyesore.

That�s not fair to the other residents of the neighborhood. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to wake up every morning to be greeted by the view of a crumbling house?

The situation with Boysen�s property reflects a broader problem that exists in the Vermillion community.

Tuesday�s discussions at the city council meeting were limited only to the Boysen property. We need to look around, and start to come to grips with similar situations in the city.

There are several pieces of residential property here that, at best, can be defined as shacks. Many of them appear to be vacant, and we can�t help but wonder if the reason they�re empty is they�re no longer habitable.

We know that the city�s code enforcement department, with its rather limited manpower and resources, has made strides in recent years to make sure citizens are managing their property so there are fewer ordinance violations in the areas of overgrown yards, junk, abandoned vehicles, and unsafe structures.

But those shacks! Can nothing be done about them?

The city is demonstrating an ability to put pressure on Boysen to make needed improvements to his property. Hopefully, we can see similar efforts taken against other real estate owners who seemingly don�t believe they need to care for their buildings or properties.

One more quick, somewhat related comment. Kudos to the city�s street department for hauling away truckload after truckload of tree limbs, branches, refuse, etc. after June�s big storm.

The Vermillion Plain Talk editorials reflect the opinion of Plain Talk editor David Lias. You may contact him at david.lias@ plaintalk.net

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