15 West Kellogg Blvd.  
Saint Paul, MN 55102  
City of Saint Paul  
Minutes - Final  
Legislative Hearings  
Marcia Moermond, Legislative Hearing Officer  
Mai Vang, Hearing Coordinator  
Joanna Zimny, Executive Assistant  
Tuesday, January 3, 2023  
9:00 AM  
Room 330 City Hall & Court House/Remote  
9:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 779  
RAYMOND AVENUE. (File No. VB2301, Assessment No. 238800)  
Approve the assessment.  
Angie Pierach, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: we talked about this last the beginning of November. When we spoke last  
we talked about potentially prorating the Vacant Building fee if you would be able to  
close those permits. When we spoke in November you’d been in the Vacant Building  
program 7 months out of 12 already. At this point when it goes to Council next week  
you’ll have been in the program for 10 and a half months. I still see a lot of open  
permits. You mentioned opening the end of March. Is that still your plan?  
Pierach: yes.  
Moermond: I’m going to recommend the Council approves this assessment since it  
looks like you’ll be in the Vacant Building program the entire year. You may get a bill  
for next year’s fee, but I’m guessing you’ll be able to get out from under that one.  
Appeal that bill so we can put a waiver in place so you have another 3 months with no  
fee and based on your plans that should get you out of the program with no fees  
beyond this year’s.  
Pierach: yes, that should be fine. When does the bill for next year come?  
Moermond: February. March is your anniversary date. Given where you are at with  
contractors and bills, would it be useful to have this Vacant Building fee divided over a  
number of years? The interest rate is around 3%. Would that help, or does it not  
Pierach: it doesn’t matter. I’d rather just pay it off.  
[Moermond explains the process of having it put on taxes over a number of years]  
Pierach: ok yes, let’s do it that way.  
Moermond: you are also welcome to ask the Council for a different outcome. We’ll  
send an email with information on how to do that.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/11/2023  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 615  
REANEY AVENUE. (File No. VB2301, Assessment No. 238800)  
Approve the assessment.  
Voicemail left at 11:54 am: this is Marcia Moermond from St. Paul City Council calling  
you about your Vacant Building assessment for 615 Reaney. We last spoke in  
November. I’m going to tell you your Public Hearing is next Wednesday; January 11  
and I’m going to recommend this Vacant Building fee is approved. We will send you an  
email confirming that. I’m looking for information if you would like me to recommend  
payments be made over a number of years with a small interest rate. You can also  
appeal further to Council.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/11/2023  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 938  
ARKWRIGHT STREET. (File No. VB2304, Assessment No. 238803)  
Layover to LH February 7, 2023 at 9 am to discuss possible proration of the fee.  
Rodrigo Cardozo, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: this is a Vacant Building for February 21  
through August 24, 2022. Total assessment of $2,616. No mail returned. Notices were  
sent to Deutsche Bank, previous owner. Deed with Ramsey County is June 30, 2022.  
Moermond: what brought this to your attention as an electric problem? A yellow-tagged  
gas meter?  
Martin: yes, and it was definitely vacant when the inspector went out.  
Moermond: Mr. Cardozo, you bought the building?  
Cardozo: yes, my brother and I did.  
Moermond: is Promo Investments, LLC you?  
Cardozo: yes.  
Moermond: when did you buy?  
Cardozo: closing July 18. I don’t know if you can see the email I forwarded?  
Moermond: Ramsey County says it transferred June 30, so just a bit of a difference.  
When was it occupied?  
Cardozo: we took control July 18. All the paperwork was in our name. The former  
owner did the transfer before that date.  
Moermond: I’m wondering when someone moved into the house.  
Cardozo: we are still working on it. Weather hasn’t helped us getting people to show  
up. You mentioned some electrical issues. We just did re-wiring and everything. That’s  
all done. We are ready to list it next week.  
Moermond: we have a Vacant Building then; it is still empty?  
Cardozo: yes. No one lives there now.  
Moermond: in the past a Ruby Martinez was involved.  
Cardozo: I don’t know that person.  
Moermond: ok, so that is an old name. Here’s the thing. We have you buying a  
registered Vacant Building. I’m wondering—  
Cardozo: our plea is to be charged for the amount of time we controlled the building.  
Moermond: I have to say that you assumed the debt of the building at the time  
purchase. That is the case with any pending assessment on a property. You’d be  
asking for 4 months less of a Vacant Building fee, which would be $500 or so dollars.  
But you bought it as it existed at the time so I’m struggling with that request.  
Cardozo: at this point the market is slow, the repairs have been mounting and we want  
to make a little profit. Paying $2,600 cuts it really close for us. We weren’t aware of  
this fee at all.  
Moermond: that’s between you and the seller though. They should have disclosed that  
information to you. Hopefully the purchase price is reflective of the problems at the  
time you bought it. This goes to Public Hearing February 22. Let’s see where you are  
at right before that. Let’s talk again February 7 and see where you are at and if it  
makes sense to decrease. I’m struggling to see how I can do that but maybe  
something will happen between now and then that is persuasive.  
Cardozo: what could be a motivating event?  
Moermond: I invite you to think about that. We’ll talk again in a month. I feel this will  
be a recommendation to approve and if you want to look for a different outcome from  
the City Council you certainly can. But we’re looking at fee from February 21, 2022 to  
February 20, 2023 so you’ll have been in the program the entire year. The first four  
months was under the previous seller. I am sympathetic, I can’t use the property tax  
system to subsidize your rehabilitation.  
Cardozo: you mentioned talking to what? Another period of time?  
Moermond: this went into the Vacant Building program February 21. The billing period  
is 2022 to February 2023.  
Cardozo: I see. If we have to pay the whole $2,600 could we just transfer—  
Moermond: it appears these notes are incorrect, the bill goes July 2022 to July 2023.  
So, it could be prorated, but let’s see where things end up. It would be in your interest  
to get those permits finaled.  
Cardozo: I did try but Randy wasn’t around. I left messages. The electrical company I  
talked to didn’t know what I was talking about.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 2/7/2023  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1319  
EDMUND AVENUE. (File No. J2301C, Assessment No. 232000)  
Layover to February 7, 2023 at 9 am for further discussion. Staff to send senior  
property tax deferral information.  
Charolet Titus, daughter of owner, appeared via phone  
Thelma Lee Maggitt, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: a Summary Abatement Order was sent for the  
garage to have it repaired or removed. We did talk with the owner and she advised us  
to have the City demolish because she couldn’t afford its removal. I know we  
discussed options to try and make this affordable. Total assessment of $3,664. Work  
was done June 22, 2022.  
Titus: my mother is on a fixed income and when the bill came they said she could pay  
it over a year, but she can’t afford that. She wanted to get that discounted somehow,  
we know the work was done. The cost she just can’t afford.  
Moermond: the letter you got telling you about today’s hearing, on the back has an  
interest rate, should be around 3%. What I can do is ask the City Council to make  
payments on this $3,600 assessment over 5 years. Practically that means you would  
get a bill after the Council Public Hearing around the begging of march, for 1/5th of the  
total amount. You could pay that this year and whatever you couldn’t pay would roll onto  
your 2024 property tax statement. In 2025 you would see the next 1/5th and so on. As  
you know there are two bills, so it would be half and half on your property tax  
statement. Is that something you’d like to do?  
Titus: that is still $700 a year on top of the already-high property taxes. Is there any  
way to discount the cost and still have the five years to pay?  
Moermond: I can’t change the amount it costs to demolish. That’s the bill the City paid  
to the contractor for the demolition. We could see if she can quality for some  
assistance in delaying the special assessment. I’m assuming you are a senior?  
Maggitt: yes.  
Moermond: we can see if you can quality for a program to have it deferred so it isn’t  
due right now. We can connect you with those people. Do you want us to do that?  
Maggitt: yes. I guess.  
Moermond: we can help you with that. We’ll get the right names and people for you to  
connect with as well as any forms. We have an email for Ms. Titus, would that work or  
do you prefer USPS?  
Maggitt: you can send it to my daughter.  
Moermond: we’ll do that. I want to delay making a recommendation until you have an  
opportunity to work with the property tax folks to see if you qualify.  
Titus: how does that deferment work?  
Moermond: why don’t we talk in a month, let you look into it, and see how things are  
looking for you on this?  
Titus: that sounds good. I’ll look for that email.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 2/7/2023  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 2193  
NORTONIA AVENUE. (File No. J2304B, Assessment No. 238103)  
Layover to LH February 7, 2022 at 9 am for further discussion. Staff to review ability of  
staff to coordinate planning to prevent emergency call-out fees. Current  
recommendation is to reduce from $2,797 to $2,067.  
Berent Larson, o/b/o executor Ronald Perry, brother of deceased owner, appeared via  
Moermond: I understand you’re acting on behalf of the brother of the deceased owner.  
Are we calling him in?  
Larson: just me. I’ll handle it and he sent me the documents.  
Moermond: we were walking through information with our stuff and we think we have the  
first police report but not all the reports or the fire investigation. Not sure if that was  
held for a particular reason. Just letting you know I don’t think we have all the  
background on this.  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: September 22 we received a complaint of  
possible gross unsanitary or excessive storage. He contacted St. Paul Police  
Department and they went out. Police went out twice. Dogs were in a kennel for week  
and taken by Animal Control. A back window broken into. WE clipped the front door to  
enter. The fire department was dispatched to find the individual they had to cut a hole  
in the wall to remove the person. Those charges totaled $2,797. We had Code, Animal  
Control, Police and Fire all involved in this case.  
Moermond: for clarity of the record, the only thing in front of us today is the cost of  
boarding the building after it was opened for various attempts at welfare checks and  
later to remove Ms. Watson and the animals. This is strictly about the boarding  
contract, none of the other services.  
Larson: correct, and I understand all that. I guess the way I wanted to frame this whole  
thing was I understand there’s a contract with Rest Pro. I believe it is unscrupulous at  
minimum. I understand they got MR. Perry for $6,500 for removal property and they  
didn’t do anything. I know that is separate. They have service trips in those invoices for  
hazardous, they seem to have double charged for boarding numerous times. It seems  
like they were taking advantage of the situation. I’m an insurance agent and I deal with  
different companies for Water, fire, and other things. We have problems with water  
companies doing this. This was egregious at minimum.  
Moermond: I have a couple of questions. One is, do you have a contact person that  
was working with Mr. Perry to sign something? The other question is, do you have any  
of those documents he signed? Particularly I’m concerned about the timing and  
context of those signatures. We can share with you the City contract with Rest Pro.  
Sounds like what is happening is outside those bills but inside the scope of the City’s  
contract. I’d like to see what we can do about bolstering or substantiating what you are  
describing. Because I am concerned.  
Larson: I don’t have the invoices in front of me, apologies, and I don’t know when he  
signed anything. I know they were fired October 10 when I took over. I did it as a favor  
to help the family. Maureen is a customer whose best friend is the one who passed. I  
went over to see what Rest Pro is doing. They weren’t doing much. Maureen was a  
hoarder, she had shelves of books and knick-knacks. Rest Pro they would go in, take  
the shelves out of the trails, put them back in, at $50/hour with three guys turned into  
$1,500 shelves when they were worth $100. If you look at the invoices I was sent last  
week you see 3 windows boarded and 3 doors screwed shut, and then the wall that  
they boarded. That cost $2,700? They seem to have multiple charged. Plus the hazard  
charge every time of $250. I know there is the trip charge.  
Moermond: that wasn’t a hazard charge, that was the price of the emergency call-out.  
Larson: got it, I understand. As far as Ron was concerned one was encompassing the  
other. Now we find out they’re separate. It just seems for almost $10,000 he got no  
services other than this boarding. It seems predatory, honestly. It irks of that. We had  
no idea how it all works as far as the Code Compliance and the Vacant Building 2. We  
didn’t know we could appeal the Vacant Building status to list it faster. Ron is 80-some  
years old. He just wants to sell this. He did get Maureen’s dogs from the rescue. His  
wife is wheelchair bound. It is so bad I felt I needed to step in to help. We’re ready to  
go for the most part, but we need to go through the hoops that are required and do it at  
a minimal cost. The fees seem never ending.  
Moermond: has he been keeping records? I am looking for a copy of that contract with  
Rest Pro. Does he have that do you think?  
Larson: let me look through my stuff, I don’t think I saw the signature page.  
Moermond: if you could send us what he has. I’m not looking at the contract with them,  
what I have in front of me are the boardings. I can look at that more carefully. I’m  
struggling, I can’t make it go away. The work had to happen and it was really involved.  
It doesn’t get much more complicated than this in terms of getting into a house in  
these circumstances.  
Larson: I understand what you are saying. I’m not completely involved. But my heart  
says something is wrong here. That’s why I wanted to talk to you. They didn’t do a lot  
of work. It wasn’t complicated. It wasn’t difficult. I know there are multiple trips but they  
put plywood over 3 windows and put L brackets on the doors. They were there 15  
minutes. Ron and I were both unaware we could appeal at the time. Everyone at the  
City has been super nice. It isn’t that. We didn’t know the right paths. We would like to  
appeal that if at all possible so we can get the gas on sooner. It has new doors.  
Windows are repaired. Siding is on. We need to reglaze two windows and then it is  
sealed up. The house is 99% cleaned out. Just some empty dressers.  
Moermond: I can’t hear that appeal this morning and I need to reflect on whether I  
should appeal that at all given it isn’t timely. I’m not sure how those documents were  
directed because the owner was deceased. On the face of it one of the definitions of a  
Category 2 Vacant Building is condemned as unfit for human habitation. The other  
piece is that the weight of a hoarded condition does mean there are potentially different  
problems than with other houses. It is an unknown, but I’m putting that out there. I’ll  
reflect on if I can take that appeal given it isn’t timely. With the assessments in front  
of me today I am going to land the plane this way—  
Martin: I just wanted to note for the record there was a Code Compliance application  
applied for. So, no work should be done until that Code Compliance Inspection is  
Moermond: and they wait to do those until the property is cleaned out. Sounds like it is  
close to that point.  
Larson: yes, it is just shelving and a piano. I’m also waiting on a lock box from the  
potential realtor. We did apply for that and didn’t know the rules and ramifications. I  
was trying to help Ron. He was going to see his kids at Thanksgiving. I understand  
there are rules. I’m asking for maybe a little waiver and to think about an option since  
we were unaware. I’m just trying to help Mr. Perry. He did lose his sister in a horrible  
way and now has to deal with the house as the same time.  
Moermond: right, there’s a lot going on. Out of the gates I’m going to delete one of  
these, the first one. It is our normal practice on a welfare check to delete for a simple  
straightforward check. This isn’t straightforward. For the other two I would like to find  
out more information on how those two events were scheduled and how the emergency  
personnel were organizing themselves. In particular what that would have on an  
emergency call out fee. What ability did they have to plan so it wasn’t an emergency  
call out? That’s where I’m starting. This goes to Public Hearing February 22. I’ll follow  
up with you on February 7 and we should have some homework done to see if any  
planning was even possible. In the meantime, if you have any information you want to  
share about contracts that were signed by Mr. Perry outside of this boarding process,  
certainly that is something I’d want to know. I’ll ask staff to look into this as well so we  
have some better information. I’ll respond within one week about accepting an appeal  
on the Vacant Building status. I think you talked to Joanna Zimny in our office, she  
can follow up with you on that piece.  
Larson: a question on documentation; the things Ron sent me without signatures are  
just invoices, you don’t want those?  
Moermond: it wouldn’t hurt, but my big question is when he would have signed a  
contract and for what.  
Larson: ok.  
Moermond: I’m decreasing the assessment right now.  
Larson: how much is that?  
Moermond: I’m deleting the September 6 one, for $730.  
Larson: I appreciate anything that helps. If I appeal should I go ahead and do the—  
Moermond: I will let you know within in a week about accepting an appeal but I will say  
it is very untimely.  
Larson: I appreciate your time, thank you.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 2/7/2023  
10:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 23-1  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1153  
CENTRAL AVENUE WEST. (File No. J2303E, Assessment No.  
Approve the assessment.  
Viviane Vang, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: June 10 a Summary Abatement Order was  
issued to remove scrap wood and items from the property. It wasn’t done, so a work  
order was sent. When the crew got there it was removed, so this is the fee of sending  
the crew. No returned mail. Total assessment of $159.  
Vang: I want the fee waived because I did speak with the inspector that day, and I saw  
their vehicle out there that day. We did notice an unidentified vehicle behind in our  
alley. We picked up our trash. It wasn’t big enough for a 10-yard container and at the  
time I was having trash problems too. I was trying to order a commercial two-unit  
garbage can. I wasn’t aware since I bought in April about the garbage plan. I did talk  
to the inspector about it. I was surprised he still issued me a violation even though I  
did speak with him over the phone. I want to take care of that property, knowing it did  
have a garbage issue in 2021. I took my own assessment and realized it needs to be  
taken care of. We’ve been doing demotion since there’s no insulation in the walls. We  
want to make it better than it is. I apologize the inspector wasn’t aware, but he did call  
me. I don’t know where the communication dropped  
Moermond: the owner of record isn’t you according to Ramsey County taxation. You  
said you purchased on a contract for deed? The owner still today is Hung Tu Inc. you  
need to record that contract you executed in April of 2021. That is where the rub is.  
Because the implication of noncompliance is an assessment on the taxes, Ms. Martin  
and her team have to notify the owner of record with Ramsey County because that is  
going to catch the bill. I do see you filled out the Certificate of Occupancy Responsible  
Party form. It does appear that an extension happened, perhaps as a result of your  
conversation with the inspector. Orders went out June 10 and compliance was June 17,  
but the crew didn’t go out until June 30. So that was two weeks beyond the original  
deadline. It appears some consideration was in the record on this. I’m struggling—  
Vang: I don’t want any problems with inspectors. I know there are problems with the  
building and long-term tenant trash issues. That is why I wanted to call and talk to him  
about it. It is a nice building; I want to take care of it. There is just an issue with the  
tenants moving out and the garbage plan doesn’t work for that unit. I try my best. I  
wish the inspector would have called me; I did speak to him that Friday.  
Moermond: I’m stuck with the cleanup crew going and the work not being done when  
they showed up.  
Vang: but the notice---  
Moermond: the notice is wrong because you didn’t do your job.  
Vang: I understand. But there’s also a notice where the inspector can do a drop, a  
“DOD” or something, where they could say it has already been done by owner. Isn’t  
there an exception for that for me?  
Moermond: it says it wasn’t done by owner on deadline but it was done 2 weeks later  
when the crew showed up to do the work.  
Vang: that is understandable. I just want a fair hearing too. I have receipts that I  
picked up the trash and paid for it. Because it wasn’t done, why do I get a dispatch  
fee? The notices don’t say they’ll charge that dispatch fee—  
Moermond: yes, it says exactly that actually.  
Vang: that you will charge a dispatch fee?  
Moermond: that that is a potential fee that is charged.  
Vang: isn’t there such thing as a “done by owner”? Doesn’t the owner get a waived fee?  
We already incurred the costs; we took care of it. That’s why there is a hearing. You  
are supposed to help waive some of those fees.  
Moermond: my job is to review individual cases and to see if they qualify for any  
exception under rules specified in the City charter. Whether proper legal notification  
was provided and whether the work for the bill actually happened. The notices did go to  
the owner of record with Ramsey County. That owner should list out you as the contract  
for deed purchaser of the property, but that contract is not registered. Therefore,  
property legal notice was provided. A crew was dispatched and this is the cost  
requested back by the City. There was a large delay between the original deadline and  
the crew actually being dispatched. That’s what I need to legally look at. You’re saying  
you shouldn’t have to pay for the truck to clean up the mess because you had it  
cleaned up by the time the crew showed up and because you have tenants that make  
a mess and you don’t have adequate garbage service. The garbage service is  
something that is on you.  
Vang: I didn’t even have tenants at that time. No one came out to do a walk-through.  
Did you do a walk through to show I had tenants? Can you show me there was one?  
Because I would like a walk-through.  
Moermond: ma’am, all you said that it was a tenant problem. Whether or not there is  
tenants connected to the mess is not something I can consider.  
Vang: as an inspector, wouldn’t there be at least a walk-through? There’s some type of  
consideration, some compassion. As a homeowner, the building is commercial.  
Moermond: it is an investment property.  
Vang: it is commercial. I have to pay a residential garbage container even though it’s a  
commercial property. It doesn’t work. The garbage was construction debris which  
doesn’t fit, and they can’t collect that type of garbage. You’re telling me that I’m not  
doing what I am supposed to do? I spoke with the inspector and I tried to speak with  
him and he said that he already sent it out. I said, didn’t I talk to you? Then he told me  
he could give me more violations. I told him there was a two-unit container at the same  
time. I have proof I ordered that. I’ve been talking to Clare with garbage assessments  
because I have a hearing with her coming up because they’re charging me residential  
trash. I want you to know this is why there are those hearings. This could give owners  
some peace of mind, yeah you’re doing your job, but why can’t the inspector called  
me—he had my number. The owner gave him my number. The owner is able to do that  
on the contract for deed. She should have told the inspector who the new owner was. I  
have proof I’ve been paying for trash. What more proof do you want? What about my  
side of the story? Just waive a little bit of the assessment fee for me, I didn’t abandon  
it like the previous owner.  
Moermond: this isn’t a charge for abandonment. This is a charge for dispatching a  
crew to clean up a mess in the back of the property that included a propane tank,  
plywood, toilet and what appears to be black trash bags. The question I’m faced with  
is whether or not the other taxpayers in St. Paul are responsible for paying this or  
whether this is a private property matter. I’m stuck with this being a private property  
matter because the City met its legal obligation to provide notification. If there wasn’t  
adequate communication in your view between the seller and you the buyer, that is a  
private matter between you. I’m glad I don’t see any other violations coming forward,  
but what I do see is a problem that existed for at least 3 weeks. I know a lot of  
property owners get dumpsters to handle clean-ups in this situation. You can’t put  
construction waste in a regular residential container, that is true.  
Vang: you can’t.  
Moermond: yes, you cannot.  
Vang: I have been in compliance on that. Then all of a sudden it turned over to the new  
owner. It isn’t my fault it isn’t documented. The seller is a contract for deed. They are  
supposed to record. Again, that is private, it doesn’t matter. She gave me the phone  
number to talk to the inspector. As the inspector, I asked him to give me time  
because I’m going to clean it up this weekend. I did speak with him. I was  
disappointed he documented the violation on me when he was aware of it. Why would  
he not call me? The owner could even attest they gave him my number. It isn’t just me.  
He wouldn’t have my number if the owner didn’t give it to him. Give me some type of  
waiver. If I do it again, then you can fine me. This is my first time. Can you waive it  
because it is my first time? I don’t know how you guys work in the City. I just  
purchased it April 2022.  
Moermond: I do not have the ability to waive because you are a new owner. I can only  
look at what I have in front of me. I would say your complaint about notification has to  
do with the previous owner not registering the contract, as you indicated.  
Vang: is that fair?  
Moermond: yes. The notification happened by way of first-class mail to the owner of  
Vang: I understand that but is it fair I was able to talk to the inspector and he still  
fined me anyways?  
Moermond: this isn’t a fine, this is a cost for dispatching the crew.  
Vang: there is a waiver for being done by owner.  
Moermond: there is no waiver for that. This is the cost of dispatching the crew. You  
aren’t charged the cost for the crew doing the cleanup, which would be in excess of  
$500. The cost is for dispatching the crew. My recommendation will be approval of this  
assessment. You are more than welcome to ask the Council for a different outcome.  
The hearing on that is February 8  
Vang: yep I sure will.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/8/2023  
RLH TA 23-7  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 649  
CHERRY STREET. (File No. J2304E, Assessment No. 23803)  
Continue PH To June 28, 2023 and if no same or similar violations, delete the  
Carrie Rindal, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: August 22, 2022 there was a notice to cut tall  
grass and weeds. Compliance within 72 hours. We rechecked August 5 and August 8  
so we did send a crew. They went out August 15 and it was done by the owner when  
they got there. This is the cost of dispatching the crew for a total assessment of $159.  
No mailed returned. We did have a Summary Abatement Order for scrap wood in the  
backyard in February of 2022 for a remodel.  
Rindal: I’ve been displaced from my house for 2 years after a house fire. It was gutted  
to the studs. I’ve been in the process of getting it redone. Trying to find contractors  
was tough. My mail is delivered to the post office so I don’t get it as quickly as I would  
if it came to my house. I got the notice it wasn’t mowed on the 11th. I had an issue  
with my hand for a while, I was out of work July 20 through August 12 because of  
those issues. I left a message with the inspector that was the case and I texted my  
neighbor to see if he could do the lawn. He did that on the 12th. I paid him $60 to do it.  
As far as the weeds in front of the window and without being there that is because  
there aren’t any curtains due to the fire and with everything wide open it is easy access  
to see no one is there. I had that higher to block the inside so people wouldn’t look  
inside and try to take anything from where they were working. As far as the issue with  
the remodel, again there was stuff being done at the house. It has been a 2-year  
process. It was January 31, 2020. When I found that wasn’t done and needed attention  
I paid the neighbor to do it. I’ve been the owner for 21 and a half years with no issues.  
Moermond: how is your hand now, or have you contracted for snow removal?  
Rindal: my hand is better now. My neighbor does my driveway, which he’s done for  
years. I shovel the walk.  
Moermond: you’ve owned this for a long time with just one previous situation which  
sounds attributable to the house fire. I’m hoping you’ll be able to be back in your  
home soon, is that the case?  
Rindal: it is getting there. It is slow. Insulation and wood floors are going in.  
Moermond: I’m glad to hear you have snow removal under control. I’ll look at this and  
say if there are no same or similar violation in six months I’ll recommend deletion. On  
February 22 I’ll ask them to continue to June 28 and if there are no founded violations  
I’ll recommend deletion.  
Rindal: that sounds fair. Do I need to show up for anything?  
Moermond: not unless something happens, in which case reach out to my office.  
February 22 they will not discuss it and will continue it.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH TA 23-12  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 824  
COOK AVENUE EAST. (File No. J2301P, Assessment No. 238400)  
Delete the assessment (waiver on file).  
No one appeared  
Moermond: this is a graffiti clean-up and we have a waiver on file, so we will delete it.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/25/2023  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 199  
DUKE STREET. (File No. J2308A, Assessment No. 238507)  
Layover to LH January 17, 2023 at 10 am (PO unavailable).  
Michelle Dimayuga, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: are you expecting my call?  
Dimayuga: no, I wasn’t. I’m a teacher. We’re in the middle of administering a reading  
Moermond: we had a hearing scheduled December 20. We’ll reschedule.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 1/17/2023  
RLH TA 23-3  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 85  
HATCH AVENUE. (File No. J2304E, Assessment No. 238303)  
Delete the assessment.  
Miranda Meyer, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: August 1, 2022 a Summary Abatement Order  
was issued to remove pallets from the driveway by August 5. We reinspected on  
August 5, still there. Rechecked August 9, still there. He did get a notice the owner  
called and said she would be moving them. August 22 it was finally abated. This was  
Excessive Consumption for noncompliance. Some history here, September 30, 2022  
garbage, and February 8 2019 snow and ice with no action. Total assessment of $159.  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Meyer: I called several times actually. I talked to probably every DSI officer on staff.  
The thing is with the pallets, they aren’t the same pallets. I have a project I am working  
on. My stepdad works for a company with pallets. So decent pallets he would drop  
them off at my house. I work an on-call job. Sometimes I work 60 hours a week. I  
didn’t have the ability to go out and put them away every single time. They are different  
pallets. I tried to explain that to them. I treat the pallets when I get them, so there  
aren’t any pests. I spray them down and they have to sit outside for a couple days  
before I bring them in the garage. This is a gross misunderstanding. I don’t have $168  
to pay for this. I’ve been losing stress over this. I have hospital records from having a  
stress seizure. I can’t sleep over this. I don’t have the money to pay this. It is the  
difference between having groceries or not.  
Moermond: you’re fine, you’re fine.  
Meyer: I just don’t know what I will do if this actually goes through [crying]  
Moermond: what is going on with pallets these days?  
Meyer: they’re all in the garage.  
Moermond: it is ok, take a breath.  
Meyer: this isn’t fair.  
Moermond: are you still doing the project with the pallets?  
Meyer: yes, but it is in my garage. It has nothing to do with you guys.  
Moermond: no, I was just wondering if we should expect more pallets.  
Meyer: honestly, I have people selling drugs on my block and this shouldn’t be that big  
of a deal. I report it to Sean all the time. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal  
with there is worse sh*t going on.  
Moermond: you can appeal any order that comes to you. That isn’t an issue. Sounds  
like you are maintaining your property. You had this project, but you’ve dealt with the  
issue and you haven plans and you wouldn’t let it get to this place again. I know that  
creates stress. I’m thinking this is straightforward that I will say I’m having trouble  
using photos that we have different pallets from first to second photos but I don’t feel  
great about the second photos. I’m going to take you at your word given the  
documentation situation and say they were different and saying we won’t have issues  
moving forward. I’ll recommend deleting this assessment. Hopefully we don’t have any  
situations moving forward because I know it is stressful.  
Meyer: it is, especially when you get 5 letters at a time.  
Moermond: Ms. Martin, would you be a good contact if she is trying to get through and  
having communication issues?  
Meyer: I talk to Sean usually.  
Moermond: Ms. Martin is a good backup. Let’s get you her contact information in the  
event Mr. Westenhofer is out.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH TA 23-8  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 916  
HATCH AVENUE. (File No. J2304E, Assessment No. 238303)  
Continue PH to September 6, 2023 and if no same or similar violations, delete the  
Darcie Kashif, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: this is an Excessive Consumption bill for  
excessive inspections or abatement services. Original orders were overhanging  
vegetation dated July 27, 2022. Compliance date of August 3, rechecked August 3,  
and August 15. The work was done by owner on August 29, 2022. Total proposed  
assessment of $159.  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Kashif: I am appealing because we weren’t the owner at the time. We didn’t own or live  
there until September 15, 2022. To me that seems like it would go to the previous  
owner and she would be paying this.  
Moermond: Is the previous owner morally responsible? Yes. The problem is that is a  
private matter between you and the previous owner. She should have disclosed this bill  
to you. It was pending at the time you acquired it. It was mailed August 3. That was  
well in advance of the closing. They didn’t which is unfortunate. We haven’t had any  
issues in the few months you’ve owned it. Do you live here?  
Kashif: we live here. As soon as we did get the property we cleaned up everything you  
talked about. We assumed we were responsible and didn’t know it had already been  
reported. We’ve been maintaining it since as proud homeowners. I’m confused how this  
didn’t come up with the title company, or the previous owner wouldn’t have said.  
Moermond: sure, one is they are responsible for disclosing any bill or lien on the  
property regardless. I see it became a pending assessment October 4. When it went  
unpaid it went through as assessment. The unpaid bill from August was processed 2  
months later. They did you no favors. Not being a pending assessment, the title  
company may not see it. But the seller has every responsibility to disclose to you. I’m  
super happy you are moved in and taking care of things. Ideally the old homeowner  
would write you a check for $159 and you’d be square. Part of me wants to say to call  
your realtor to talk to the seller’s realtor. But at the same time, I have an interest in  
making sure this doesn’t happen again and create an incentive for that. We may best  
be served by doing that. Your Public Hearing is February 22, I’d like to ask them to  
continue the case to September 6, 2023 and if there have been no issues with the  
property I’ll recommend this is deleted. That is one year’s worth of ownership.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH TA 23-9  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 627  
MENDOTA STREET. (File No. J2304E, Assessment No. 238303)  
Approve the assessment.  
Jacob Smith, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: this is for Excessive Consumption for a  
Summary Abatement Order, Vehicle Abatement Order and Excessive Consumption  
sent August 11, 2022 for 3 or more violations in 12 months. We have been out there  
many times. At this point it is pretty much cleaned up, though we did just send a work  
order for snow and ice. Quite a history at this property. Total proposed assessment of  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Smith: I’d like as much of the fee waived as we can. It isn’t our fault. I know it falls on  
the landlord, but the tenants there were tough to comply with. They are no gone and it  
is cleaned up. I’m not expecting any more issues. I was hoping for some grace, that is  
Moermond: when I look at cases with 3 or more violations in 12 months I’m less  
inclined to give grace since it means it is a significant amount of City staff time  
involved. I know you had costs you’ve experienced due to those tenants. But I can’t  
see my way clear to ask other taxpayers to pick up the bill on that. The Council may  
look at it differently, but I think it is your bill, not the taxpayers at large.  
Smith: so it just goes on the taxes?  
Moermond: Council looks at this February 22 and if they approve you’d get an invoice.  
If you pay it, it will be done. If I you do not it shows up on your 2024 property tax  
Smith: ok.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH TA 23-10  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1233  
PAYNE AVENUE. (File No. J2302P, Assessment No. 238401)  
Delete the assessment (waiver on file).  
Alyssa Vang, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: have you filled out the graffiti waiver staff sent?  
Vang: I got an email and they told me to fill out the form, I filled it out and sent it in.  
Moermond: ok, our documents aren’t up to date then. If it shows up I will recommend  
this is deleted.  
Vang: yes, they stamped it and gave me a copy.  
Moermond: oh, you brought it into DSI?  
Vang: yes.  
Moermond: I will recommend deletion.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH TA 23-2  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 292  
WALNUT STREET. (File No. J2302P, Assessment No. 238401)  
Delete the assessment (waiver on file).  
No one appeared  
Moermond: this is a graffiti cleanup and recommend deletion because a waiver is now  
on file.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
Special Tax Assessments-ROLLS  
RLH AR 23-1  
Ratifying the assessments for Collection of Vacant Building Registration  
fees billed during February 21 to August 24, 2022. (File No. VB2304,  
Assessment No. 238803)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH AR 23-2  
Ratifying the assessments for Securing and/or Emergency Boarding  
services during September 2022. (File No. J2304B, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH AR 23-3  
RLH AR 23-4  
RLH AR 23-5  
Ratifying the assessments for Demolition service from June 2022 at  
1319 Edmund Ave. (File No. J2301C, Assessment No. 232000)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
Ratifying the assessments for Demolition services from August 2022.  
(File No. J2302C, Assessment No. 232001)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
Ratifying the assessments for Excessive Use of Inspection or Abatement  
services billed during July 25 to August 19, 2022. (File No. J2304E,  
Assessment No. 238303)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
RLH AR 23-6  
Ratifying the assessments for Graffiti Removal services during August 9  
to September 27, 2022. (File No. J2302P, Assessment No. 238401)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 2/22/2023  
11:00 a.m. Hearings  
Summary & Vehicle Abatement Orders  
RLH SAO 23-3  
Appeal of Sonya Humes to a Summary Abatement Order at 643 EARL  
Grant to January 19th for compliance with removal of items stored next to garage, and  
grant to July 17, 2023 for storage or use of construction and other related items in the  
rear yard.  
Sonya Humes, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: Dec 19, 2022 we issued a Summary Abatement  
Order to remove and dispose of scrap wood, buckets, and PVC from rear yard.  
Compliance was for December 22. Photos are in the file.  
Moermond: what are you looking for today?  
Humes: my backyard is only 30 by 20 feet. It is enclosed. How this issue came about  
was I am trying to install a French drainage system to keep my basement and garage  
from leaking. I ran out of time. I can’t go back there and cleanup because all the  
materials are for a deck I plan to build. That’s what the inspector is seeing. And they  
only saw that because my gate was kicked in.  
Moermond: does this have an alley?  
Humes: yes, my garage faces the alley.  
Moermond: I see a photo from the alley with your garage door and the stuff piled  
against the garage in the buckets. You are saying you cannot move it because it is  
Humes: yes, they’re frozen. So is the stuff in the back yard. If you’re asking how it got  
there to begin with, I was paying a friend of a friend to move material for the French  
drain. I begged them to come clean it up. I let it go since it was a friend of a friend, by  
the time they decided to come it was frozen. I can’t do anything back there.  
Moermond: is it a single or double garage?  
Humes: technically it’s a garage and a half. I can only fit my VW in there.  
Moermond: I’m seeing aerial photos taken by the City and then Google and it looks  
like you’ve had building materials there for quite a while. Does that sound right?  
Humes: yes. Waiting for someone to come and start. To finish. I ran out of options  
and time. There should be a ladder back there that I need. You’ll see some wood,  
PVC against the garage. Maybe you can’t see the rocks under the snow.  
There’s a mound of rock and then the deck will go over that when the drainage system  
gets put in. That deck will go to the back year.  
Moermond: you have to get this under control or store the building supplies elsewhere.  
We’ve reached the end of the line on that. Hopefully you can find a contractor. Building  
supplies can’t just hang out indefinitely waiting for a permit to be pulled.  
Humes: if I can pull a permit those materials can stay?  
Moermond: they have to be in use and stored properly. When I see wood stored  
outside in this weather that isn’t considered proper storage of building materials. That  
doesn’t apply to PVC or rock obviously. But I note that as an issue and a building  
permit won’t get you an indefinite extension either. I’d like to get a timeline for this to  
be addressed. It has been a problem for a long time. Sounds like you need to hire  
someone who will start and finish the project.  
Humes: absolutely.  
Moermond: I’d like to see a proposal for dealing with what is visible from the alley and  
piled near the garage so there is some visible effort on your part to get this under  
control. Stage it so the materials in the back yard have a different deadline. What can  
you propose? Or would you like time to think about it?  
Humes: what is against the garage is frozen into dirt.  
Moermond: and salt will loosen it up. You have tall items with leverage available. A  
timeline is reasonable on the City’s part. If I went to pick up the bucket would a kick  
do it to pick it up? I think so.  
Humes: no, it is frozen in dirt.  
Moermond: then I’d buy some salt and come up with a proposal for dealing with this. I  
want to work with you but I need you to meet me partway. I’m seeing a nuisance that  
has been there for years. You are asking for an indefinite extension. Please think  
about what you will do.  
Humes: best I can do is try and get the salt around the outside of the garage. The  
wood against the garage, we just ran out of room. I said this is something else. I have  
to start all over again and he has recommended the Dirt Monkey but everything is  
frozen. The soonest I can address this is in the spring. I want it done. I can’t get to my  
Moermond: I am hearing you want to work on the backyard sooner than later, which is  
great. I’m wanting to help you there. I’m looking for some progress. Being impassible  
creates an additional incentive. Why don’t you come back with specific dates unless  
you want me to put something on the record now?  
Humes: I can put together a proposal after speaking with a couple companies. As I  
said though, another issue is that kind of work will cost $5,000 to $10,000. That’s the  
largest hang-up. That’s why I tried to go with someone else and it didn’t work out.  
Moermond: so you will have a proposal and we talk again next Tuesday?  
Humes: I’m an RN and I work nights. Next Tuesday is the 10th? Ok. How should I get  
these proposals to you?  
Moermond: I need a date from you. I think a couple weeks for what is next to the  
garage and mid-summer for the backyard being done, whether that’s storing the  
materials or having the project done.  
Humes: thank you, thank you. I understand it is a nuisance against the garage. I can  
work on that the best I can.  
Moermond: let’s just say January 19th for getting the area next to the garage cleaned  
up and give until July 17, 2023 to finish the project. That means the materials are used  
or stored elsewhere.  
Humes: that is agreeable. I want it done. I want to use my yard.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/18/2023  
RLH SAO 23-2  
Appeal of Todd Harper to a Vehicle Abatement Order at 1384 REANEY  
Grant to March 3, 2023 for compliance.  
Todd Harper, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: a vehicle with expired tabs and appeared  
inoperable. No history at the property.  
Moermond: and it doesn’t appear in terrible condition. Expired tabs but no missing  
Martin: yes.  
Harper: it is my wife’s car. This car was gifted to her by her mother. She wasn’t good  
with record-keeping. She died May of 2022. We couldn’t find the title. My wife has been  
on the phone for hours trying to sort this out. We want to get this taken care of and  
donated and be rid of it. It is inoperable. We tried moving it.  
Moermond: don’t put a tent on it. We’re fine. I’m going to ask, the lien situation, you’ve  
been on the phone with Ford. It is their lien?  
Harper: yes.  
Moermond: have you gotten any indication what is involved with resolving that?  
Harper: she’s been on hold for hours at a time and they cut you off. It is that kind of a  
Moermond: I’m looking for this to be resolved by March 1.  
Harper: we will do our darnedest. If we have issues do we get ahold of you?  
Moermond: yes, we could maybe look at a minor extension.  
Harper: that is very gracious.  
Moermond: a couple months hopefully give you some time to get ahold of Ford.  
Harper: I really appreciate your time and generosity of spirit.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/18/2023  
Making Finding on Nuisance Abatements  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 1072  
THIRD STREET EAST in Council File RLH SAO 22-50.  
The nuisance is not abated and authorize the Department to take action to abate the  
nuisance following City Council action.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: for 1072 East Third you said the inspector found the vehicle was not in  
compliance by the January 1 deadline?  
Supervisor Lisa Martin: that is correct. Updated photos are in the file.  
Moermond: we’ll recommend the Council find it not in compliance on deadline  
confirming that finding and attach the photo. If the owner is looking for additional time  
they should send an email or testify at Council.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/11/2023  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 952  
EUCLID STREET in Council File RLH SAO 22-48. (Public hearing  
continued to January 11, 2023, Legislative Hearing on January 10, 2023)  
Continue PH to January 11, 2023 (LH January 10, 2023 at 11 am).  
Daniel Feese, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: this is Marcia Moermond calling about the trailer on your property. The  
deadline was December 30th. Checking in with you. Lisa Martin is on the line to give  
an update.  
Staff update by Supervisor Lisa Martin: an inspector went by and took photos. There  
has been no attempt to move the trailer.  
Moermond: the Council is scheduled to look at this again tomorrow and they will be  
making a finding on whether or not it was addressed and if it hasn’t they’ll authorize the  
department to take action to remove it. So, I wanted to talk to you about where you are  
at with this.  
Feese: I sold it to a guy and it is ready to be pulled. He was supposed to move it today  
but with the snow he’s having issues.  
Moermond: if tomorrow I ask them to continue it for a week, would that work?  
Feese: yeah, if he doesn’t have it gone by then I’ll drag it on his property myself.  
Moermond: so tomorrow I’ll ask them to continue this for a week and hopefully it will be  
resolved. We’ll touch base Tuesday morning to see where things are at.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/4/2023  
1:00 p.m. Hearings  
Vacant Building Registrations  
Appeal of Kyaw Die and Myint Aye to a Vacant Building Registration  
Requirement at 729 HAWTHORNE AVENUE EAST.  
Layover to LH January 17, 2023 at 1 pm. Waive VB fee for 90 days.  
Moermond: one week layover on this. Let’s put a 90-day waiver of the Vacant Building  
fee in place and she may need help filling out the Vacant Building registration form.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 1/17/2023  
RLH VBR 23-1  
Appeal of Mike Mortimer to a Vacant Building Registration Renewal  
Notice and Summary Abatement Order at 1762 ENGLEWOOD  
Waive VB fee for 90 days (to March 27, 2023).  
Mike Mortimer, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: I believe we’ve talked before. It looks like today you have a Summary  
Abatement Order and Vacant Building registration under appeal.  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: was opened as a Category 1 Vacant Building  
file due to a fire December 27, 2021. It was upgraded to a Category 2 Vacant Building  
June 17, 2022. Currently there is a Code Compliance Inspection Report on file.  
Permits have been pulled per Robert Humphrey. Notes say issue permits as team  
inspection and property hasn’t transferred ownership so no TISH required. We received  
a complaint December 2 of miscellaneous debris and scrap wood on the sidewalk. I  
have marked it as done by owner. There is ongoing work at the property and he is  
making an honest effort to remove the snow and ice. That part is in compliance. The  
Vacant Building fee came due November 28.  
Moermond: the Summary Abatement Order for doing the wood and junk it sounds like  
is closed so our conversation is around the Vacant Building registration.  
Mortimer: I had a fire and my son died in the fire as you know. The guy showed up from  
Rest Pro—  
Moermond: we’ve had this conversation at great length so today let’s focus on the  
Vacant Building fee. We’ve dealt with that in great detail and I appreciate where you are  
coming from.  
Mortimer: you know they sued me for the building, right?  
Moermond: we took all the information and shared it with the contract folks. A matter  
of a lawsuit privately isn’t something we can be involved with. We can only look at Rest  
Pro acting in according with the City contract. I just have to focus today---  
Mortimer: what was done about it?  
Moermond: I don’t have that information in front of me and I couldn’t take it into  
account anyways. I can only look at this Vacant Building fee.  
Mortimer: they won’t give me a permit! The City of St. Paul won’t give me a permit!  
Moermond: Mr. Dornfeld, any insight? Is it the nonpayment of the Vacant Building fee  
tripping you up?  
Dornfeld: that is my understanding, the outstanding fee.  
Moermond: so if he went in between when the fee came due in December he would  
have had to pay that first.  
Mortimer: the contractor tried to apply and they gave him a 10-page thing to see if it  
was sprinkled. I’m not exactly sure. You have a criminal enterprise in the City of St.  
Paul named Restoration Professionals and that’s what they did to me. I had a  
$200,000 fire and they gave me a bid of $450,000. When I declined they gutted the  
whole building. I never signed anything. I think that’s in the City charter. My daughter  
had a double-lung transplant February 3. I came back and everything was gutted.  
Moermond: you said you have a contractor who is confused because of a sprinkler  
requirement? If one wasn’t there before I don’t think you need one now. That doesn’t  
sound right to me. What I’m going to do is ask Mr. Dornfeld to put a 90-day waiver in  
place, which takes you to March 27, 2023. I have a team inspection letter we can email  
to you.  
Mortimer: is that the thing with the 100 things on it?  
Moermond: it does look like a long list.  
Mortimer: and you realize if Rest Pro hadn’t gutted it 8 pages of that wouldn’t be there.  
They gutted four bathrooms.  
Moermond: and that’s a private matter. It sounds like you have a court case and I hope  
you’re represented to hold them accountable.  
Mortimer: they won’t be. I had to sign a piece of paper that says I wouldn’t say more  
about it to get it off my back.  
Moermond: and I can’t do anything about private litigation. All I can say is there is a  
Vacant Building fee and I’m happy to put a waiver in place through the end of March.  
Has your contractor given you a timeline on getting the work done?  
Mortimer: they haven’t even gotten a permit yet. The City permit is stonewalling them  
Moermond: we’ve hopefully addressed that. Setting aside that issue, what timeline have  
they given you?  
Mortimer: I’m doing a lot of the work myself. They exposed 150 years of code  
violations. New walls to hold up the floors. Fire stops. We jacked up the floor from the  
basement. I’ve been working on it. My daughter died November 23, 2022. I’ve been a  
little bit taken back by that so I haven’t gotten much done. I’m trying. If I don’t get this  
done I will go bankrupt.  
Moermond: we have you set up so you can pull permits now. The note is in the system.  
Mr. Dornfeld, who should his contractor reach out to if there are any issues at all  
pulling a permit?  
Dornfeld: I would start with Robert Humphrey. I am copying him on this email to make  
sure to note for front counter staff so they won’t have any issues. I’m doing my best to  
make sure that is show.  
Mortimer: you realize if you call anyone with the City of St. Paul they never answer the  
phone, right? Are you aware of that? I’ve called Dornfeld and Dornfeld doesn’t answer  
his phone. I’ve left messages—  
Dornfeld: Mr. Mortimer, I know you’ve had a rough stretch, but go easy now. I’m not in  
the mood. You and I have talked for hours. Hours, sir. Take that back.  
Mortimer: I’ve talked with you for hours?  
Moermond: you are talking to Matt Dornfeld on the phone right now Mr. Mortimer, and  
he is saying that he’s talked to you for hours about your property and knows all the  
stories and situation.  
Mortimer: no, you didn’t. You called me up and told me—  
Moermond: Mr. Mortimer I’m going to redirect you here because I don’t think that line of  
comment is useful. There are three things that have happened: one, a note has been  
put in the system since I’m recommending that waiver, two, there are notes in the  
computer and three, if that isn’t working there is a backup number with Mr. Robert  
Humphrey who is in the office full-time as opposed to inspectors who are in until 9 am.  
He is reachable all day long and can help should there be problems. We have really  
tried to do belt and suspenders on this problem for you. After this waiver expires this  
will come forward as a special assessment on your property. That assessment is  
appealable, the same way as the other ones we have talked about in the past were.  
We can have a conversation at that point about where things are at. For the moment  
Mr. Dornfeld cleared the orders on your property and we have that waiver in place. That  
addresses the problem you brought up. I don’t think we can talk any more about your  
private litigation with Rest Pro. That’s really a private matter and we can’t interact on  
Mortimer: it isn’t a private matter because they are a City contractor who comes out the  
day of the fire, the morning of the fire.  
Moermond: we’ve talked about this and that concern—  
Mortimer: they are a City contractor!  
Moermond: yelling at me isn’t helping—  
Mortimer: I know, nothing helps.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/18/2023  
1:30 p.m. Hearings (none)  
Orders To Vacate - Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
2:00 p.m. Hearings  
Fire Certificates of Occupancy  
Appeal of Andrew Eisenhart, AJE & Co. LLC, to a Fire Inspection  
Correction Notice at 708 HAWTHORNE AVENUE EAST.  
Layover to LH January 17, 2022 at 2 pm for further discussion. PO to submit proposed  
workplan/timeline for addressing deficiencies.  
Andrew Eisenhart, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: this was a Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
inspection done by Sarah Anderson. I accompanied her on this inspection. It has a C  
grade. One of the questions on the appeal are if the corrections are a fire hazard. We  
enforce both the fire code as well as the City’s maintenance code for all  
non-owner-occupied buildings. We found quite a bit of deferred maintenance. There is  
a wall in the basement that does have a good shift in the blocks that was patched but  
that is cracking. The retaining wall in back was hit by a vehicle and that needs to be  
taken care of. Flex venting for the dryer. Exterior fixture on the front door was hanging.  
Sidewalk is tilted around the building towards the building. It looks like someone tried  
to put concrete patch on it, that is starting to crumble. Front steps closest to sidewalk  
are cracked. Rotted wood and peeling paint. Missing siding. Gutters are coming off.  
Light switch at top of basement stairs is being held on by tape.  
Moermond: the biggest order is the basement wall, I assume?  
Shaff: yes.  
Moermond: this is your first inspection.  
Shaff: there was an attempted inspection a few days before and it didn’t sound like he  
understood he needed to be available.  
Moermond: turning it to you Mr. Eisenhart. What are you looking for today?  
Eisenhart: the house overall is structurally sound. I do understand the needed  
corrections. It says reinspection January 17, which is about a month, but the  
magnitude of some of the repairs would take longer, especially the exterior repairs  
given it is winter. Number 1 about the basement wall. I looked into getting a structural  
engineer out there, they are in the midst of doing their report. It isn’t structurally  
unsound. That should be in the report. The skim coating cracks should be corrected,  
probably this winter after I get that report. I am getting a licensed plumber for the dryer  
venting. The exterior light my electrician is going back out, as well as the interior  
switch. The sidewalk I can’t do until spring. I don’t know how long it has been like that.  
I’ve only owned it a short time. The retaining wall got hit by a stolen vehicle. I’ll have to  
do that when the weather improves as well. The concerning one for me is the  
basement wall, but the sidewalk I don’t know what that could cost. We’re balancing the  
market value of the home. Rent doesn’t cover all these repairs at once. I just ask for  
time. I don’t know what this basement wall is going to cost.  
Moermond: that makes perfect sense. I know that the Department itself works with  
people on timelines for exterior repairs when the weather won’t allow for that. I know it  
is their practice to give extensions based on conversations. We’re having it now, but  
just so you know for the future they are cognizant of those issues. You’ve talked with  
folks about everything on the list it sounds like. You have kind of touched on  
deadlines based on weather and contractor availability with the exception of the  
basement wall. That is pending cost and how extensive it is based on that report.  
Could you put together a proposal for the extensions for these items?  
Eisenhart: I started an Xcel document. Item one he said the structural integrity is  
there. I’m still waiting on that report. Then I have a contractor in mind but I’m not going  
to do a site visit until I get that report. Then we’ll have to assess the cost and market  
value. The exterior sidewalk I need time. I don’t know if I can do it this year.  
Moermond: that spreadsheet sounds great. I understand there are some unknowns. I  
hear you are engaging this.  
Shaff: none of this sounds unreasonable. Concrete doesn’t cure when it is cold. Paint  
doesn’t stick in January. Those aren’t’ the significant items. There are plenty of other  
things that can be done and I’d like a proposed timeline.  
Moermond: I’m willing to be reasonable on some of this. Maybe let’s get that document  
in as a starting point and lock something in in a couple of weeks’ time. Is that doable?  
Eisenhart: is there an email I can send things to?  
Moermond: we’ll send a follow up letter to your email and you can respond to that with  
your plan.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 1/17/2023  
Appeal of Amanda Knutson, Brownstones of Summit/Gassen Company,  
to a Fire Certificate of Occupancy Correction Notice at 596-604 SUMMIT  
Layover to LH February 7, 2023 at 2 pm for further discussion. Staff to review  
emergency egress for building.  
Amanda Knutson, property manager for Gassen Management, appeared via phone  
Pauli Kennelly, interim Board President, appeared via phone  
Seth Stevenson, project manager Gassen Management, appeared via phone  
Reverend Reid Olson, board member, appeared via phone  
Kristi Hoffman, Gassen Management, appeared via phone  
Staff report by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: this goes back to August 28, 2021 stating  
the rear deck can only be used for emergency escape purposes until repaired or  
replaced under permit and to provide a structural analysis to Karpen and Ubl. The  
orders today are dated October 4, 2022 from Thurner that talk about exterior stone  
steps, the railing, emergency lighting and unit doors with numbers. So more on those  
orders. In the appeal packet there is a diagram and some other things and repair  
invoices, however we haven’t been out to see what repairs have or haven’t been made.  
No building permits have been pulled for the stair tower. There is a HPC approval with  
conditions for the stairs, that was approved March 28, 2022.  
Moermond: what triggered that review if not a building permit?  
Shaff: usually when something is in an HPC district they are going to present to the  
building department or send plans to the HPC. George Gause reviewed them, then  
they would apply for the building permit to take care of the issue.  
Moermond: we’ll attach that to the record.  
Shaff: his exact words were the structures can only be used for emergency escape  
only until repaired or replaced under permit but it also says to immediately provide a  
structural analysis no later than August 30, 2021.  
Knutson: we are just trying to get an extension due to the nature of what needs to be  
done on the deck. Trying to get as many options as we can for what will be allowed for  
them to do as far as replacement.  
Moermond: I assume you’re the one working with the contractor? Has there been any  
reach out yet to plan review with DSI to go over ideas?  
Knutson: that’s a Seth question. He’s project management.  
Stevenson: when I came into the project they association was already in the process of  
trying to find a replacement. It was out to bid, we’re talking million-dollar bids. I’ve met  
with Ubl, Neis, Frank Thurner. We’ve had extensive communication with them. They  
are aware we are looking at alternatives to downsize and treat the scope of it so it is  
affordable to the association. A million dollars divided by 16 units is unreasonable for  
those homeowners to pay. We’ve already submitted plans by Compass Engineering  
which were approved, but those are scrapped due to price when put to bid. We have  
new plans and have bidding with those plans. It is time consuming to get these bids  
since there’s a lot that goes into the replacement. It isn’t necessarily a plea for time, it  
is also for understanding there’s more that goes into this that tie with the deficiencies  
in the front of the building. As we’re working to get a proper, affordable plan in place, if  
you could allow time to allow the costs for those other deficiencies as well.  
Moermond: for clarification, you said the City approved plans, you mean the HPC as to  
Stevenson: we were approved for issuance of a building permit and the HPC.  
Moermond: ok, and you’re not moving forward with those original plans?  
Stevenson: that is correct.  
Moermond: and I don’t see a building permit application on file. I do see the HPC  
Stevenson: I guess because a vendor didn’t pursue the work—we submitted stamped  
plans to the City—we did receive preliminary approval on that design and issuance of a  
permit was forthcoming should the work proceed.  
Moermond: you’re downsizing the scope and adding in the other items in the correction  
orders in that bid.  
Stevenson: I wasn’t involved in the bid for the other deficiency. Those items were  
$15,000 to $20,000 alone. That would be quite the depletion of the current funds on top  
of the deck. We’d like to build the cost of those deficiencies into the large loan taken  
out for the rear deck structure.  
Kennelly: the previous president was driving this. We are doing our best to do  
something safe for emergency exit. We’re trying to make it happen. We are really  
struggling. Our owners can’t afford a million dollars. Is there any way to repair or go to a  
simple fire escape structure? No matter what we get these astronomical numbers. We  
would really like time to find alternatives to approach this different. We are afraid our  
owners will default. It could be really bad for everyone. We want something that works  
for safety, works for the City, and for owners financially.  
Olson: we’ve had a lot of turnover in these units. New people have moved in and are  
unaware or didn’t know all this was going on. Really pleading for more time to come up  
with a safe and affordable solution.  
Hoffman: once Seth has bids, the owners have to approve the bids, even applying for a  
loan. They have to be involved due to the scope of the project. That also takes time. If  
the homeowners don’t approve the special assessment the board can’t act. It is about  
educating them. Then we start back at the beginning. It is a predicament the  
association is in.  
Moermond: Ms. Shaff, one of the things we talk about when we have an exit structure  
like this is whether they are required under the Fire code. Has there been an  
assessment of that? Are they required for Code purposes?  
Shaff: I don’t have an answer for that. In a small building of a few units probably not,  
but this is a larger with 16 units. Without a code analysis or when it was modified it  
would be hard to guess on the requirements. I can’t imagine with a structure of that  
size it was just put on “for the heck of it”. I’m not familiar with the building so I can’t  
answer that.  
Moermond: the orders are calling out this exterior structure as a maintenance issue  
and I think everyone agrees it needs to be repaired or replaced. For my purposes I  
would be interested in finding out more about the emergency exiting requirements in  
and factoring that in. Mr. Neis had that in earlier orders. Looking at that and think  
about it in the context of an extension. It becomes easier to do an extension if it isn’t  
legally required exiting for those units. What does it look like if they can’t be used?  
What if they end up condemned pending replacement? Does that mean units are no  
longer usable, or does it have an impact?  
Shaff: the structure has been condemned since August 23, 2021.  
Moermond: and that isn’t echoed in the orders in front of me.  
Shaff: and I don’t know why that is.  
Moermond: let’s find out more about that. I’m amenable to working with owners and  
management to find a viable solution.  
Shaff: and that’s not normally done without a structural review by Karpen.  
Moermond: and I think we’re dancing around in a circle about this. I agree we need to  
get them involved. Mr. Stevenson, Ms. Knutson, thoughts on those comments I’ve  
made? I’m not ready to land the plane today as you can probably tell.  
Stevenson: I’m in agreement. If you could take some time to gather the necessary  
information on your end, and if we could establish another time to meet that would be  
beneficial for all parties so we can get a better idea of how to proceed. I agree with that  
Moermond: any other comments?  
Knutson: I just want to say I agree with Mr. Stevenson and yourself. I do just want to  
make a point on the October 4 deficiency list numbers 2, 3, and 4 are being taken  
care of. We’re really just talking about number 1 coinciding with the deck.  
Kennelly: I can’t thank you enough on trying to work through this. It has been lonely  
trying to figure this out. We’ve sent another note to everyone emphasizing it is only for  
emergency use. Please use and leverage us however you need us to engage this.  
Moermond: today is January 3. I’m looking to continue this to January 24 or February  
7th. Any conflicts with those dates?  
Stevenson: the best day for me would be the 7th.  
Knutson: me as well.  
Moermond: we’ll do that on February 7 and in the interim get more information. Maybe  
a staff report at the hearing. If we get anything earlier we’ll push it out to you earlier.  
We’ll send a letter confirming this layover. I have Ms. Knutson’s email address, but I  
don’t have emails for anyone else.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 2/7/2023  
Staff Reports  
Review Request for Extension to an Appeal of Arnold Kampa to a Fire  
Inspection Correction Notice at 1084 LARPENTEUR AVENUE WEST.  
Grant an additional extension to March 1, 2023 for compliance.  
Arnie Kampa, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: calling about your extension request for 1084 Larpenteur. Ms. Shaff, can  
you update the record on where we started and where we are at?  
Staff report by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: this would be the third extension after the  
original deadline a year and a half ago. The work is still not completed per Council  
Moermond: your original orders from the Certificate of Occupancy program were from  
2021. We have letters starting July 1, 2021. We have a lot of extensions and this is a  
year and a half down the line. That’s why I wanted a specific plan in place or allowing  
higher level of enforcement to occur. What is going on?  
Kampa: everything on the original orders has been done. The bar, the exterior, the  
garages removed. The only thing left is that stairway. This got held up because I had  
applied for a STAR grant, had a late start and late determination. I requested an  
extension to see if I got that grant. We didn’t get that grant October. When we found  
out we didn’t get that I called down and spoke with Erik Hudak and then I spoke with  
Inspector John who told me the guy I hired, Randy, would have to do a drawing  
because the scope of the work had changed. He tore it out so the scope changed, he  
was supposed to fix it. City said I needed a new permit. Randy was supposed to put  
these drawings in and he didn’t. Then he started ghosting me. I paid him $4,186 for  
materials and $2,075 for labor. I spoke to Virgil Thomas on November 4 when I found  
out I needed a new permit. Randy never did that. I spoke with Randy 34 times in  
November. I finally fired him. I called Rabid construction who agreed to do the work.  
He’s had people in. He is on holiday this week. I expect him to get on that when he  
gets back. My fear is it won’t be done by February 1. I’m not looking for six months. It  
isn’t due to me not wanting to do it. STAR was the biggest hold up.  
Moermond: I have to say looking at this, it is ultimately your thing to deal with. We’ve  
done a lot of extensions and I want something firm and won’t look at this again. The  
department can revoke your Certificate after that. I get you’ve had contractor problems.  
Do you have a contract with this person? Is there a deadline in there?  
Kampa: I don’t have one, but I know him personally.  
Moermond: I’m just looking for a sense of an agreed upon timeline. Your timeline now  
is February 1. I’m hearing he’s out now and will be on it when he’s back. He has to do  
drawings and pull a permit and do the work and have it inspected.  
Kampa: correct.  
Moermond: I’m going to ask the Council to give you to March 1, 2023. After that the  
department can enforce at the next level and we can talk about that then if it happens.  
Kampa: I don’t want to push it, but any chance I can get to April 1?  
Moermond: no, not from me. The Council may look at it differently. You can appeal any  
future enforcement too. They have to enforce what the Council has determined.  
Received and Filed