County orders cleanup of 2 properties

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

JASPER — Two properties, including one that used to have a methamphetamine lab on it, are in dire need of cleaning up, the Dubois County Commissioners heard Monday.

Shawn Werner, environmental health specialist for the Dubois County Health Department, reported to the commissioners that an official order was made on April 8 for 4119 and 4161 W. County Road 400N, Jasper. The two properties sit next to each other and are in Michael Schepers’ possession. The original owners, Frederick and Janet Schepers, are deceased.

The health department and Dubois County Solid Waste Management District have received complaints on the properties. The 4119 W. 400N property, where Schepers lives, has lots of trash and debris visible on the property, Werner said. The 4161 W. 400N property was the site of a meth lab, which was seized by police in an August 2012 meth bust. It has been vacant for years, Werner said.

“He cannot do anything with that property until it is (either) remediated or demolished and disposed of properly,” Werner said. “The structure needs to be remediated or removed, and then all the trash on the property needs to be removed.”

Werner has not yet received access to the properties to take photos, but he drove by the properties last week and has not seen any progress being made to clean them up, he said.

The order gives Schepers 60 days to remedy the problems. It also stated that Schepers could appear before the commissioners if he wanted to tell them how he would take care of the problems.

Schepers and his brother, Dwayne, did appear, and Dwayne Schepers explained that he is working on cleaning the property.

“I just moved back, and I’m moving in there to help him out,” Dwayne Schepers said. He said a dumpster will be on-site this week for them to clean up the trash and debris.

“We’d like to fix it back up,” Dwayne Schepers said. “As we get this cleaned up and the (4119) house up to par, we want to rebuild the (4161) building. But if we can’t, we’ll demolish it.”

Werner told Dwayne Schepers that a meth lab team will have to be hired to do testing on the 4161 property and, if needed, clean the property. Since a meth lab was on the property, a certificate of decontamination is required before the property can be used for anything, Werner said. That could be expensive, he added.

For demolishing the building, the Schepers need to fill out some paperwork with the health department to clear the property.

Werner met with the Schepers after the discussion to give them paperwork and more information. The matter will come back to the commissioners at their June 3 meeting, which starts at 8 a.m. on the second floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex, 602 Main St., Jasper.




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