Council plans next moves for nuisance lotsPublished 12:15pm Thursday, August 15, 2013
After waiting for months for the municipal court to make its final judgment on the penalty a property owner would face, the Dadeville City Council was not pleased with the result.
But almost four months later, the owner faced only a minor fine, putting the ball back in the city’s court to clean up the overgrown properties on Broadnax Street. And the council wasn’t happy about it.
“If the ordinance (391) is not changed, we’ll just keep getting our teeth kicked in like we did in court last week,” said Councilman Mickey Tarpley, joking “if it just costs a hundred bucks, I won’t mow my yard either.”
Dadeville’s code enforcement officer, Mike Richardson, said he’d received dozens of complaints about the property and overgrown weeds were “becoming a huge issue everywhere.”
Of the six official letters that he’d sent under Ordinance 391, all but the one property owner had promptly cleaned up. But he said some extra effort might be required to “put some punch into it and get people’s attention.”
Police Chief David E. Barbour noted that to trigger a letter from Richardson under the ordinance, residents would need to come to the police station and fill out an incident report.
“They need to describe the property and the issue they see with it.
One council member pondered filing condemnation orders, but City Attorney Robin Reynolds noted that would be heard in Circuit Civil Court, which is a whole different ballgame.
“You’re maybe 18 months out to get a resolution there,” he said.
After other avenues are exhausted, the weed ordinance allows the city to clean up the property, with the cost charged to the resident.
In other business, the Dadeville City Council:
• Approved a Verizon HotSpot for city workers at the Dadville Recreation Centers. The cost was estimated at $50 per month for four gigabytes of data.
• Dadeville firefighter Jeanna Brewer noted the department had a new fire truck at the station, but without a significant expenditure on equipment, it could be put into service. Mayor Joe Smith noted there’s an old truck awaiting a buyer as surplus on GovDeals.com. The asking price is around $5,500, he said which could be applied to the DVFD’s equipment needs.
Brewer said that would “help a little,” but added that “that equipment is not cheap.”
“We’ll make a wish list, and maybe Santa will bring us some of it,” she said.
• Voted unanimously to stop selling lots in the old section of Dadeville City Cemetery until a detailed survey of the area can be conducted. The record keeping in past years is considered suspect.
• Amended rules for renting the Dadeville Recreation Center. The council limited rentals to no later than 10 p.m. and set an hourly rate of $25 to rent the building for events.