Butte residents concerned for safety near nuisance properties

PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Properties filled with decaying buildings, rusted RVs and abandoned vehicles are eyesores on an otherwise beautiful drive down S. Bodenburg Loop Road in Palmer.

Mike Sweeney, lifelong Butte resident, points to the "compound" from his property line on Saturday Nov. 16. (KTUU)

Many area residents have been working with the Mat-Su Borough and law enforcement officials to vacate these nuisance properties, known as "compounds."

Mike Sweeney is one of those concerned residents. Born and raised in the Butte area, Sweeney lives just 100 yards away from a "compound" which drew the attention of Alaska State Troopers Friday morning.

Sweeney says it was a small victory when Troopers escorted several individuals from the property around 9 a.m. Friday. The individuals were turned over to representatives of the property owner, according to Troopers.

A Palmer Court judge granted the property's owner a writ of assistance and judgement of possession, allowing law enforcement to remove trespassers from the premises.

Sweeney says the property just off of the Old Glenn Highway on S. Bodenburg Loop Road has caused problems for at least 30 years, and it's not the only one.

"We won one. We have a couple more to go," he said. "I'm still a little unclear what's going to keep this from happening again after the heat's off."

Sweeney had barely completed his sentence when a dented and dirty gold van drove out of the property's driveway. Since removing people Friday morning, Troopers have made it clear that anyone found on the premises will be considered trespassing.

Channel 2 called Trooper dispatch to notify them of the trespasser, but they were already on-scene to remove the occupants.

Sweeney says residents will continue imploring the borough to deal with these nuisance properties, which he considers dangerous.

"When you can't feel like your wife is safe at home, it's not a good feeling," Sweeney said. "These places are not just in the Butte, they're not just in Meadow Lakes, or Sutton or Big Lake ... and it would be nice to have a way to control them before they get this big."

Troopers are asking anyone who sees people on this property to call dispatch at 907-352-5401 (Option 2, Case number 3PA-19-1967 CI). They say they will be arrested for trespassing.

Channel 2 has reached out to the listed property owner but have not yet heard back. We will update this article if the owner responds.

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