Unkempt property still problem in SF

Unkempt property still problem in SF

Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 9:22 pm

By CHRIS MENEES
Messenger Staff Reporter
For the second month in a row, South Fulton resident Mark Vaughn is urging city officials to take action on problems with unkempt property near his Covington Avenue home.
Vaughn appeared before the South Fulton City Commission at its regular session Thursday evening at the city’s municipal complex, reminding commissioners that he had appeared at their meeting a month ago to ask specific questions about violations of four municipal ordinances and a zoning ordinance.
Vaughn told commissioners he is still having trouble with a business on Broadway that joins his Covington Avenue property. He alleged the weeds are now high enough to hide trash, which he claimed remains on the business’ property. He said the business owner has cleaned the front of the property, but he said he lives behind it.
South Fulton city manager Jeff Vowell said he has spoken with the business owner.
Vaughn questioned why no action appears to have been taken and why the business owner has not been issued a citation. He said it is a simple problem to correct, since city ordinances are in place, and further said he would object to any taxpayer money or volunteers being used to clean the unkempt property since it should be the owner’s responsibility to keep it clean.
Vaughn asked commissioners why they would go to the trouble of passing laws if they don’t enforce the laws that are on the books. He said the laws should either be enforced or should be removed from the books.
Vice Mayor Charles Moody, who presided in the absence of Mayor Ron Haskins, who is recuperating from recent back surgery, said there are additional problems throughout the city with unmowed grass and unkempt property. He said they should be ashamed by the condition of some areas.
Vaughn said if city officials target the whole community, either the city will look better as a whole or the city’s finances will benefit from fines paid for citations issued for code violations.
Moody, who was not in attendance at the May 15 meeting to hear Vaughn’s complaints, agreed that the city needs to take action “and we’d have a better city.”
No immediate action was taken by the commission Thursday evening.
In other action during Thursday evening’s brief meeting, which was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and with a moment of silent prayer for the recoveries of former mayor Dan Crocker and Haskins, the commission:
• Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to call a city election. In accordance with city code, the ordinance calls for the election to be held Nov. 4 for the selection of two city commissioners for terms of four years each from Districts 1 and 4, as well as the city-wide election of a mayor for a four-year term from Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4.
• Approved a resolution regarding the city’s contract with Barker Brothers Waste, authorizing the mayor to sign a five-year contract for the waste collection service. Vowell explained that the contract is an extension of the city’s existing contract for another five-year period. It includes a 5 percent across-the-board increase from Barker Brothers this year, which will apply to both residential and commercial customers.
• Learned from Vowell that the city has decided to utilize inmate labor from the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex to assist with clean-up and mowing, with the effort being coordinated with both the city’s police and public works departments.
• Was informed by Vowell that an unpaid intern will be utilized to help with some of the city’s general administrative duties.
• Learned from Vowell that there has been a heavy volume in trash pickup. He said if a backhoe is needed, residents will be charged for its use.
• Was informed of a special called commission meeting to be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the municipal complex for the purpose of discussing and acting on budget-related items.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.20.08

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