WATERLOO — Police have billed the owner of a Waterloo home that was declared a nuisance more than $15,000 for officer time.
Much of the manpower tab relates to keeping the sidewalk and roadway in front of 520 Elm St. clear, but owner Dorothy Spates also was billed in connection with a Logan Avenue homicide in July and a short-lived gun battle outside the home in September, according to Waterloo police.
Spates was presented with the bill for $15,500 on Tuesday, police said.
The city began proceedings under its chronic nuisance ordinance in December 2015 after the house was the center of several gunfire incidents, and the court upheld the citation in March following a trial.
The ruling directed Spates to meet with police to put together an abatement plan and allowed the police department to bill $50 per office per hour for time spent on certain types of calls at the address.
Police Chief Dan Trelka said Spates never met to work on the abatement plan, and she instead sent him a letter stating she was sick of Trelka talking about her home on TV.
“Me and my house is not the problem. You are. Maybe you can do your job if you and your robot cops stay out of my house,” she wrote in the letter.
Since the ruling, police said neighbors have called about activity at the home and asked to remain anonymous because they feared retaliation.
Police said they have received 11 calls to the Elm Street address since May, which include:
May 15 – People from 520 Elm standing in the street. They were warned to stay out of the street.
May 21 – People from 520 Elm blocking the sidewalk. They were warned against blocking the sidewalk.
June 10 – Loud music coming from the home. Kris Spates was warned to turn the music down.
June 22 – People blocking the sidewalk in front of the home. They were warned against blocking the sidewalk.
July 8 – People blocking the sidewalk in front of the home. They were warned against blocking the sidewalk.
July 16 – People from 520 Elm blocking the sidewalk. They were warned against blocking the sidewalk.
July 17 and 18 – Four people suspected in a homicide in the 800 block of Logan Avenue — including a grandson of the owner — were seen at the home immediately before and after the fatal shooting. Officers searched the home, and all four were charged in the slaying.
Aug. 9 – People from 520 Elm yelling at passersby and threatening to shoot the neighbor who called police.
Sept. 17 – Gunfire. Witnesses said someone was shot at 520 Elm. Residents at 520 Elm didn’t call to report the shooting, but someone from the house emerged and returned fire. Police were unable to determine who was shooting.
Sept. 28 – A passing motorist said a group of people from the home surrounded the vehicle and told the driver this was their hood. One person pointed a gun at the driver and was later arrested.
Oct. 13 – People fighting in the alley behind the house. Resident at the house said they were only “play fighting.”