Mandan News

Morton wants dangerous building torn down, removed

By LeAnn Eckroth
Lee News

The Morton County Commission wants a substandard storage building in Fort Rice torn down and removed.

State’s Attorney Allen Koppy was directed Monday to return with a resolution at the July 29 commission meeting for the 30-foot by 80-foot metal structure located near state Highway 1806.

The property belonging to Cendak Development has been an eyesore and nuisance to neighbors for at least six years due to debris, junk cars and, more recently, the building’s condition, according to commission Chairman Bruce Strinden. Ivan Gange is listed as an officer of the company.

The property has a long history of complaints about its appearance, failure to meet zoning requirements and health risks, he added.

On Oct. 18, 2013, the Custer Health District issued a public health abatement order on the property because debris, vehicles and parts of semis created a habitat for rodents. Gange was ordered to remove all of them. Gange removed or moved the vehicles and debris by December 2013, according to Aaron Johnson, environmental health practitioner for the Custer Health District, as was ordered.

However, a July 11 memo from County Tax Director Linda Morris and County Building Inspector Tom Liebel said the metal storage building that remains on the property still fails to meet setback standards and has other violations. A stop-work order had been issued on the structure because of failed setback standards, according to the letter sent to county commissioners. The building still has not been moved, according to the letter.

Strinden said the building sets beyond its property boundaries.

The letter said additional violations had been found for the building during a July 10 inspection because it violates building codes related to unsafe structures and equipment.

It said the metal sheeting on the roof and sidewalls has not been maintained.

Morris and Liebel said the unsafe structure should be torn down and removed.

Koppy was asked to meet with Ben Pulkrabek, the attorney representing Gange and Cendak.

A phone message was left for Koppy on Tuesday afternoon, but it was not returned. A phone message was left for Pulkrabek, who also could not be reached for comment.