by Mitchell Kirk
Logansport city officials are considering making changes to ordinances pertaining to abandoned vehicles, parking vehicles on green spaces and trash.
Logansport Code Enforcement Officer George Franklin said while the city has regulations against abandoned vehicles, there are currently no city-issued fines in place.
“There’s no penalty other than paying the tow bill,” Franklin said.
Franklin proposed amending the city ordinance pertaining to abandoned vehicles to reflect a $50 fee for first-time offenders, $100 for the second offense and $200 for any offense that follows.
“I think it’s only fair to the taxpayers that we make the person responsible for the violation responsible for the cost,” Franklin said.
Franklin said the city also currently does not have an ordinance prohibiting people from parking on green spaces.
“A lot of people are using their front yard strictly as a driveway,” Franklin said, adding that the act not only detracts from the beauty of the community, but causes curbs and sidewalks to break down when people drive over them.
Members of the Logansport Public Safety Committee expressed concerns over this amendment with how to enforce it when parking for parties and large events is unavailable and forces people to park on green spaces.
“On the boulevard, when it gets to be graduation time, I always see that fill up,” said Councilman Bob Bishop, who is also a member of the public safety committee.
Franklin addresses these concerns in the proposed amendment by stating police officers should use discretion when enforcing the rule.
“The intent is to prevent people who do it continuously,” Franklin said.
Franklin also proposed making changes to the city ordinance pertaining to trash being left in peoples’ yards. Franklin said the current practice of enforcing this ordinance consists of him first issuing a notice to the offender stating they have seven days to remove the trash from their property.
He said if he returns seven days later and the trash has not been removed, he sends them a certified letter requesting the offender’s appearance before the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety.
“That process takes at least two weeks,” Franklin said. “Now we’re up to three weeks that this stuff has been sitting in your yard.”
Franklin said if he visits the offender’s property the morning of their appearance before the board of works and the trash has been cleaned up, he checks it off his list.
“The next day on my route however, if I see you’ve got more stuff, I have to do the whole three-week process over again,” Franklin said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the other neighbors around there.”
Franklin said there should be a more aggressive response to this violation for continual offenders. He proposed to amend the ordinance to state that if and when someone violates the trash ordinance a second time, that only one seven-day notice should be issued requiring cleanup and if it is not done, the city can clean it up without having to go through the board of public works and safety.
All of the amendments are awaiting review from Logansport City Attorney Randy Head before Logansport City Council votes on them.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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