Neighborhood frustrated over eyesore, says tarnishes South Omaha’s image
Discarded tires are scattered around behind a once busy auto repair shop.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - South Omaha has a bustling business district but an eyesore sits along its northern gateway and neighbors want a better look.
Patroling as a citizen watchdog in South Omaha, Scottie Wagner looks for troublespots that shouldn’t have an open door policy.
“Door is unlocked,” said Wagner.
Not that it matters much with the smoked glass smashed and leaving a good look inside.
“And I see a cardboard box, who knows what going on in there and there’s blankets and sheets in there and cushions to sit on,” said Wagner.
The building has a less than official no trespassing notification.
“Ain’t going to stop em, ain’t going to stop nobody,” said Wagner.
And anybody can enter the back lot through the unlocked gate which is an open invitation for trespassers, especially after dark. Discarded tires are scattered around behind a once busy auto repair shop.
Closing and locking this gate isn’t going to keep vagrants, vandals, and illegal dumpers off this vacant property. About a 50-foot stretch of the chain link fence along the alley has been knocked down.
Backlot dumping and the overgrown front of the property don’t present a good image for the northside of the South Omaha business district.
“The community as a hole when you get a little further south is very strong and vibrant but when you get on that part of the block why it’s like what happened, where did it go? said Rev. Damon Laaker.
Rev. Damon Laaker is pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church with a welcome sign that points toward the street where visitors and parishioners drive past the eyesore.
“And I think it should be cleaned up, it would make it look a lot nicer around here,” said church member, Rosemary Lad.
The city issued a violation notice some time ago but the property appeared secure and cleaned up in April. But today an inspector found it unsecure. The city will notify the owner to lock up and clean up.
A neighborhood watcher is tired of seeing the mess.
“A dump and eyesore and everything else,” said Wagner.
Eyesores are on both sides of the church. The empty overgrown repair shop across the street and a vacant mortuary next door that’s a six-time fire scene.
“It would be nice if something could be done and cared for in a good way,” said Laaker.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church is caught in the middle of properties that are badly in need of redemption.
A sign posted in front of the vacant repair shop indicates that the property is listed but the realtor hasn’t responded to messages.
Public records show a limited liability company in New York state owns the South Omaha property. We’re waiting on a reply from someone who appears to be associated with that LLC.
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