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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 02, 2011, 10:12 PM

Breckenridge takes steps to clean up city

Breckenridge, MN (WDAY TV) - The city of Breckenridge has clutter problem. After taking a bus tour around town, city officials didn't really like what they saw. So now neglected yards, and homes are getting cleaned up with a little push from the city.

The city of Breckenridge has clutter problem. After taking a bus tour around town, city officials didn't really like what they saw. So now neglected yards, and homes are getting cleaned up with a little push from the city.

Since Megan Barth moved in to her home in 2009, she's never met her neighbors to the North. That’s because she's never had any, and she says the home's been neglected for years.

Megan Barth – Lives Next to Abandoned House: "I understand that it’s hard and it’s expensive, but its do able."

She's not alone in living next to a home that's been anything but kept up. This house just a few blocks away, the same thing. So City leaders are aiming to clean up Breckenridge.

Cliff Barth – Breckenridge Mayor: "We can't force a person to paint their house. All we can do is ask them to please look at it and help us out and help your neighbor."

After taking a bus tour around the city more than a week ago, 100 photos just like these were taken. Clutter sits, unkempt, neglected at least 25 homes around the city. Leaders asked home owners to clean up, most did and only two citations were written for unsanitary conditions. But at least two homes being renovated, including the one nest to Megan Barth, still sit mainly untouched.

Megan Barth: "It’s part of living in town I suppose. You got to keep appearances up. I mean that's just the way it is."

No relation to Cliff Barth, Megan says she just wants to see people clean up so she and her neighbors don’t have to suffer the consequences of a lower home value if they go to sell.

Cliff Barth: "We don’t want to push people, but sometimes they have to be just woke up as to what they're doing and what problems they're creating."

So, for the now the city is pleased with the progress but says plenty more can be done.

The city says it doesn't want to give out citations; it just wants people to take a look at their property and keep it clean.

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