Second Street dispute returns to city agenda

By Colin Willard, Advocate Staff Writer
Posted 6/26/24

VIENNA — The Vienna City Council’s June 10 meeting agenda featured a familiar topic though it has not been addressed in more than a year: Second Street.

In 2022, Junkers Junction …

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Second Street dispute returns to city agenda


VIENNA — The Vienna City Council’s June 10 meeting agenda featured a familiar topic though it has not been addressed in more than a year: Second Street.

In 2022, Junkers Junction owner Dan Vore and adjoining property owners Bruce Struemph and Charlie Buntsma attended a series of city meetings to ask the aldermen to help them work through a dispute about an undeveloped part of Second Street. Highway 63 intersects the street. On the western side of the highway, the street is undeveloped though it is mapped. Part of the street is paved and connects Vore and Struemph’s properties. Buntsma owns the property behind Junkers Junction, part of which is about 10 feet wide and would be accessible via Second Street if it were developed. Struemph and Buntsma wanted Vore to move some of the products from his business off the street.

In November 2022, the board voted to have Vore clear his products off the northern half of the street to allow the other property owners to drive on it. In January 2023, the men returned to the city meeting to work through the issue. Three of Vore’s windmills remained on the street, but after the meeting, he moved them. During that meeting, Struemph asked if the city would vacate the street, but then-mayor TC James recommended that the city not vacate the street to avoid cutting off Buntsma’s access to his property.

None of the property owners attended the June 10 meeting. Mayor Tim Schell said Second Street had been causing issues for the police department.

“I’m recommending keeping that road closed until we can go through the proper procedures to vacate it,” he said. “I didn’t even know there was a street there, so this is news to me.”

“It was news to me, too,” Alderman Chuck Davis said. “I didn’t know there was a street there.”

Police Chief Shannon Thompson said there are a couple of streets still in town that are undeveloped though they are surveyed.

Davis said he was in favor of closing the street until they could go through the process to vacate it. He made a motion, which the rest of the aldermen passed.

In the days following the meeting, Vore shared his perspective on what had transpired since the last city meeting he had attended in January 2023.

“I agreed to move my stuff off half of (Second Street), and allow him to use the other half,” he said. “I never used that half other than cars parked there. It was easier to get the car out of the way because nobody was using (the street). It just sat there.”

“(Vore) blocked my access,” Buntsma said when asked about the latest issue with Second Street. “He moved it for a while, but he blocked it. I’m starting to do construction work down there.”

Buntsma said he had begun moving things on his property to prepare to build a house. One of the trucks bringing equipment to the property took several tries to squeeze into Buntsma’s First Street access to his property. Another could not access the property via First Street.

“My dozer guy says he can’t come in on First Street because it’s too tight of an entrance,” he said. “He has to come in (on Second Street).”

Vore said his customers’ parking on Second Street stopped about a month ago when Struemph put a trailer on the street. He said it blocked the view of both his business and the business leased in Struemph’s building.

“I had a problem with him blocking the business, but I never said anything,” Vore said. “I never got involved in it because he was allowed to use it.”

Vore said he had no control of the situation, but he had moved some of the products he displayed outside near the back of his store and brought them closer to the front to make possible-work on the street easier.

“The ideal situation is the city would vacate it then the problem would go away for everybody,” he said. “Everybody would know what they have, where they’re at and what to do.”

Struemph said he wanted all three property owners to have a say if the city decides to vacate the street.

“I’m in favor of them vacating it as long as they give (Buntsma) some kind of a 10-foot way out of here,” he said.

“As long as I still have access,” Buntsma named his condition to support vacating the street. “My concern was that I just have access. I do need it for equipment. I didn’t realize that the dozer couldn’t come in (on First Street). I thought (Second Street) was just a nice option. Now, I was told that he can’t bring it in.”