Update: Home Deemed Chronic Nuisance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: Home Deemed Chronic Nuisance

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One area home is being deemed a chronic nuisance, meaning the homeowner will now be billed by Waterloo Police for its services.

It takes three calls of complaints that end in citations or arrests within a year to be deemed a chronic nuisance by the City of Waterloo.

 520 Elm Street, a home owned by Dorothy Spates, hit that mark on December 15th when officers responded to a complaint of disorderly conduct that ended in threats made towards the officers.

But Police Chief Dan Trelka says it's all part of a bigger picture on that block.

April 1st -Reports of shots fired in the 500 block of Elm and new bullet holes found in the Spates' home.  

April 7th -Shots fired at the home and one victim sent to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the neck.

August 20th -More shots fired.

Just three of 48 reports of some kind of police activity needed in the 500 block of Elm.


"We are using this liquid foam to fill in bullet holes, so that just in case we have to go again, we can tell what the new holes are. That is discouraging. That is sad," said Chief Trelka.

But it hasn't been just once. Trelka says it's been repeatedly.

"In one year alone, six weapons calls associated with one residence. And yes they were the receiving side on several of those, but wow. People don't randomly come by your house and shoot at it," said Trelka.

The ordinance is just one tool of many police are using to keep area residents safe.

"I'm scared for my neighbors. There's children that live in this neighborhood. Ice cream vans go through here all the time because there's children here. There shouldn't be any gunshots here. There's no reason for it." said an area resident after the August incident.

 Dorothy Spates was given 10 days to come up with an abatement plan to fix the problem.
 Instead she sent a letter.

 In the letter to police, Mrs. Spates said she won't come up with a plan, because there's nothing going on at her house.
 I am not the police, but a 'taxpayer,' she said. Telling police to stop harassing her family.
 She admits she has weapons in her house to protect her family.

We did reach out to Mayor Hart, who campaigned on safer streets and neighborhood empowerment. He declined to comment. 

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