New Ulm is looking pretty run down

To the editor:

New Ulm slowly is losing its reputation as “The City Beautiful” because too many residents are not caring properly for their properties.

Why? Because there are too many sidewalks in unsafe conditions for walkers; too many lawns haven’t seen a mower this spring or lawns are full of dandelions and weeds; there are some homes that haven’t been maintained in a half century and are a blight to the neighborhood.

Now that spring finally arrived, I have resumed daily walks around the city. Last year, I estimated 20 percent of properties had sidewalks in disrepair; that estimate now is closer to 30 percent. In one block alone, five of the seven houses had sidewalks that needed some fixing. Mostly, there are sidewalk lips caused by boulevard tree roots lifting up cement slabs. Other walks have deteriorating slabs or even deep gouges.

I never have seen so many New Ulm lawns is such shoddy shape with weeds and dandelions. The next door neighbor may have a near-perfect lawn — but wait until his neighbor’s dandelions go to seed and the wind scatters them. I even saw a few lawns that never had the leaves removed last fall or this spring.

The city needs to give an ultimatum to the owners of blighted houses: fix them up, demolish them or sell the property. The neighbors would be grateful because these eyesores run down neighborhood property values.

Don Brand

New Ulm