Upsala property being cleaned up

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

The Upsala City Council recently learned that property owned by a resident on Highway 238 South is being cleaned up.

At Monday’s meeting, a representative for the resident reported on clean-up activities and presented a request to the Council for help with a dumpster.

“We just hauled out an 18-yard dumpster full of iron,” said Keith Lillis. “We exhausted ourselves filling it over four weekends.”

Lillis is a former part-time policeman in New York Mills and a former deputy sheriff in Kittson County. He works as a peer mentor and as an advocate for the disabled and for abused women.

Lillis asked if the city could provide another dumpster to haul out more refuse.

“She’s trying to be a responsible citizen,” Lillis said of the resident. “Her husband developed a bad name for her. She’s trying really hard.”

The resident is seeking to have a large blue rundown building demolished. A large trailer has been pulled out already.

“They’ve really made a difference,” said Mayor Rollie Johnson.

“City funds cannot be expended on something that doesn’t benefit everyone,” said City Clerk/Treasurer Adrian Welle. “It would have to be offered to anyone who asked.”

City Council members declined to provide a dumpster, but offered several suggestions to Lillis of who to call for help.

“I appreciate the cleaning up they’ve done so far,” Johnson said. “They’re done a lot of work there already.”