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May 19, 2013

City continues fighting trash, abandoned vehicles

Violations on the rise, report states.

LOGANSPORT — Code enforcement in Logansport is heating up along with the weather with violation figures already surpassing those of last year.

According to a report prepared by Logansport Code Enforcement Officer George Franklin, 334 trash violations have been issued so far this year, surpassing 2012’s total of 265. Of these, 227 have been cleared to date, 31 of them forcing cleanup by the city.

Violations pertaining to the city’s abandoned vehicles ordinance show a rising trend as well, the report states. One hundred vehicles have been red-tagged this year, more than doubling last year’s total of 45.

One property in violation of both the city’s trash and abandoned vehicles ordinances is at 404 Culbertson St., which the report names as being owned by Saul Puga.

Franklin spoke on this property at the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Wednesday, saying he had ordered the towing of four cars on the property.

The vehicles are in violation of a city ordinance because they aren’t functional, licensed or insured, Franklin said. Since then, Puga has reacquired two of the towed vehicles and has even added more from elsewhere, racking up further violations.

“They continue to disregard the rules,” Franklin said regarding the two vehicles he’s impounded so far. “I’ve had specific, detailed conversations with him and told him he could not take vehicles back to his property unless they were functional, licensed and insured.”

Furthermore, auto parts and a pile of bricks lay in the front yard of the property that Franklin said Puga has been asked to clean up on several occasions. Puga has signed for a certified letter requesting his appearance before the board of public works and safety, he added. Franklin said he has requested his presence before the board in person on two occasions as well.

Going forward with the property, Franklin recommended that the board of public works and safety order a cleanup and impound the dysfunctional vehicles, which the board approved.

“From looking at the documents, it would appear to me that you’ve served the proper notice to these folks and they have not taken care of the problem and they have not been in contact with you to say how or when they were going to take care of the problem,” board member Ron Miller told Franklin Wednesday before moving to order the cleanup.

The board also addressed five other properties whose owners had been notified to appear Wednesday.

The properties at 114 10th St., 118 9th St., 978 Cicott St. and 910 Bates St. were dismissed from the meeting after Franklin said the owners had cleaned up the properties. Franklin also recommended a cleanup at 314 E. Main St., which the board approved.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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