“There has to be something we can do to make property owners clean up around the city in a more extruding manner than what we are seeing now,” said Yates.
Yates said there are several lots in the city that are “clearly not abiding by the city ordinance that says that property owners are responsible to clean up any unhealthy or unsightful mess” on their properties.
The ordinance states that if no one is living there or if the lot is rented, it is the responsibility of whoever last occupied the building is at fault and should be responsible for the clean up.
The ordinance also states that the city can give out penalties such as fines or jail time if the occupants don’t fix the situation in a certain amount of time.
“These places are a health hazard and a sore eye for our community,” said Yates. “We should take more pride in our city. The first places visitors see when coming into the city are the residential areas.”
Mayor Brian Deese said that they have been in contact with these individuals, but some of the lots are vacant due to elderly people being placed in nursing homes. He said that they have been working with these people to try to get the problem fixed.
“We’ve tried to be good neighbors,” said Deese. “We’ve given them time and they have cleaned it up, but if they don’t, we can make it happen.”
The properties in question are offered a verbal warning with about a 10 day period to clean it up. If the property is not cleaned in those 10 days, they will be offered a citation.
Deese said he would make sure to put this topic on next month’s work session agenda. They will get a committee together to look the ordinance over, and then the committee will come up with a plan and a course of action.
Deese said he hopes that the Public Works Department will add this topic to their monthly reports so that the council and citizens will be able to see the action taken each month.