Get it Fixed: Neighbors want Morgan Park Business Cleaned Up

By KBJR News 1

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - There's a sense of pride in historic Morgan Park, but some say it's overshadowed by a black mark.

"Every night, I walk and I see all those cars parked on both sides of 88 and there are a lot of people that are mad," said Timothy Olsen, a Morgan Park resident.

Neighbors say the eyesore is Anytime Parking, a tow and auto parts business located along the main drag.

"Folks feel this is a residential neighborhood with a very small business district and we don't want that to be the image people see when they come into our community," said Debbie Isabelle-Nelson, the neighborhood coordinator for the community club.

Isabelle-Nelson says the concerns over blight aren't new.

"I think the frustration within the community is that it's not happening fast enough," she said.

The community club first addressed the issue in a letter to business owner Dan Nelson in 2009. A task force, lead by Isabelle-Nelson, has taken its concerns to the city in attempts to work with the owner.

How can this piece of property be approached to make it a either a vital, great opportunity to have a business in the neighborhood or to have that piece of property or business move some place which would be better suited for a place with a lot of junk cars," Isabelle-Nelson said.

The owner declined to talk on camera, but told us he's just trying to run a business and isn't doing anything illegally. He said if the city wants him out, all they have to do is buy him out for the right price.

Nelson says he's tried to work with the community, but says members aren't working with him in attempts to change the situation.

Isabelle-Nelson says they've made every effort.

"It's not enough for the community. Whatever we can do as a community to help him, we will certainly do that. "

Nelson says the city tried to buy him out this summer, but didn't offer enough money.

Isabelle-Nelson said they are waiting on word from the city about the next step in their efforts to clean up the property.

Kevin Jacobsen
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