Officers continue to follow up on junk, refuse complaints

Published 9:00 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

With the warmer-than-average temperatures, the Albert Lea Police Department has been able to get a head start for the season on junk vehicle and refuse cleanups throughout the city.

JD Carlson

Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson said cleanups are typically complaint-driven by a resident or individual who reports it to the police, or by an officer who sees it while out on their normal duties.

Carlson said once a complaint comes in, an officer typically will go out and verify the it. A letter typically goes out the next business day advising of city ordinances.

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Community Service Officer Andy Nelson oversees refuse complaints.

Property owners typically have 10 days to comply for grass and refuse complaints and two weeks for junk vehicles.

Carlson said most of the time when someone sees a letter from the city, the issue takes care of itself, but in the event that it does not, they then work to line up services to abate the problem.

He said they have two service providers they use for refuse, depending on the size of the concern, and then they bill the cost back to the property owner. The service is not done by city employees.

“It comes down to our police mission statement of enhancing the quality of life in Albert Lea,” Carlson said. “Our services attempt to do that.”

He said the quality of life is important for both current residents and those looking to move to the community.