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Board enforces property owners' penalties

Village uses court orders to collect property fines

July 19, 2007

The Fox Point Village Board got tough last week in respect to two properties that have been problems for months.

With a court-ordered deadline for the owner of a dilapidated house at 432 E. Foxdale Road to raze the building long past, trustees accepted a quote of $11,000 to have the mold-infested home torn down. That might happen in mid-August.

The $11,000 will be added to the property taxes owed for that address, Village Manager Susan Robertson said.

Robertson said of the owner, "She's always paid her property taxes."

The vacant home is owned by Mary E. Reinhart, not to be confused with Mary H. Reinhart of Fox Point. In April, Mary E. Reinhart was ordered by a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge to tear down the house in 30 days. The village went to court because neighbors complained about the condition of the property.

Reinhart has been unavailable for comment.

In another action last week, the board decided to enforce a court order and claim a $25,000 penalty against the owner of 6586 N. Birch Hill Court. The house on the property burned down and the site has been cleaned and regraded. The village building inspector says stone retaining walls violate the approved grading plan and a silt fence still does not comply with village code.

The board authorized hiring Earth Tech, an engineering consulting firm, to prepare a correction plan for the property along with bidding documents, leading to the village paying for the project.

The owner of the lot is Chester Daxe, who had until April 30 to comply with a court order to bring the site into compliance with village codes. Otherwise he would owe the village $25,000.

Daxe is represented by attorney Mark Pollack, a former Fox Point village president.

Regarding the silt fence, the portions that have fallen down will be fixed, Pollack said July 16.

However, the retaining walls remain a bone of contention between the village and Daxe. The walls were built under village supervision so they would comply with the plan, Pollack said.

But, because Daxe is uncertain whether he will build another home to replace the one that burned down, he asked the village if the wall issue could be delayed, possibly until the lot is sold or until a home is planned.

The village has not responded to that June 25 inquiry, Pollack said.

Pollack said Daxe is fighting the claim of $25,000 and has been granted a hearing Aug. 1 before Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Elsa Lamelas.

"We intend to show that Mr. Daxe has spent more than the $25,000," Pollack said. "It's not as if he has been sitting on his hands."

Jane Ford-Stewart can be reached at jford@cninow.com or (262) 446-6607.

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