WASHINGTON, Iowa - A recent string of meth related incidents in Washington has some residents concerned the community is growing a negative reputation.
"One of the nicknames going around Washington is, it's not Washington anymore, it's methington," said Nels Miller, a former resident at the Goncho apartment building near downtown. Miller was one of two dozen people kicked out of the building after toxic methamphetamine chemicals were discovered throughout the structure more than two months ago.
On Wednesday police announced another closure at a home along West Madison Street after a meth lab was allegedly discovered. A nearby warehouse has also been closed for similar reasons. Both remain closed until testing can be done to determine if they're safe to reopen.
"Meth is a problem, but it's a problem everywhere, not just Washington," said police Chief Greg Goodman. "We're taking a hard stance on this in the interest of public safety."
The city follows a "dangerous building" ordinance, which allows police to close off the buildings, Goodman said.
"We just feel strongly about public safety and the fact that we don't believe that until those buildings are cleaned up, people should be allowed in them," he said.
City officials believe the building closures have attracted the negative attention.