Helen Collins' properties need work

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Today, we bring you the story of Helen Collins' ownership of two apartment buildings in Kansas City, Mo., along with a neighboring vacant lot. 

We've tried to reach Collins for a comment, but haven't heard back. Meantime, Tom Ribera, who heads the Independence Plaza Neighborhood Council Inc., the association for the area of Kansas City in question, provided a couple of photos of the properties, at our request.

A "scrapper basket" is parked outside the front door of one building. Ribera says these baskets are used by transients to collect whatever they can find of value. - COURTESY OF TOM RIBERA
  • Courtesy of Tom Ribera
  • A "scrapper basket" is parked outside the front door of one building. Ribera says these baskets are used by transients to collect whatever they can find of value.

Ribera says the association has tried to get Collins to manage the properties so they're not a magnet for crime and drug activity, but to no avail. So on March 16, the association wrote Collins a letter:
Dear Ms. Collins:

I am writing to you regarding your properties at 1010 and 1020 Prospect Avenue, as well as the adjoining 2514 E. 11th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127.

I understand that you have been contacted by our Kansas City Police Department Community Interaction Officer, Jason Cooley, regarding the negative activity on and about the three addresses.

I am reaching out to you as the Neighborhood President to offer you assistance in getting your properties under control, so that we might avoid pursuing this with the City and in court. We can help you get local property management in control of the property, lease and eviction enforcement, and connect you with information on security such as cameras or off-duty police officers; whatever it takes to effectively manage the property
for the safety of the neighborhood.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that we can begin on an action plan. With warmer weather just around the corner the properties will, once again, be overrun with vagrants and criminal activities.

Unfortunately, ignoring the problem isn't an option because these kinds of problems don't go away on their own. We prefer to pursue a remedy with your cooperation. Please let us help you as the activities on and around the property are creating a dangerous environment to surrounding neighbors.

Best Regards,
Tom Ribera, President
Independence Plaza Neighborhood Council, Inc.
Collins reportedly has said she lost her property manager and hasn't been able to collect rents. Kansas City's code enforcement department hasn't responded to the Independent's requests for comment. - COURTESY OF TOM RIBERA
  • Courtesy of Tom Ribera
  • Collins reportedly has said she lost her property manager and hasn't been able to collect rents. Kansas City's code enforcement department hasn't responded to the Independent's requests for comment.

Collins is facing recall in the April 7 city election. She is accused of not representing the views of her southeast district and for being too closely aligned with tax activist Douglas Bruce (who also owns a property in Kansas City, Mo., which also has been cited for code enforcement violations).
 

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