By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City discusses property clean-up
Possible crackdown on junk cars, run-down buildings
cartoon-house w sm
Harsher enforcement of city ordinances concerning property clean-up may be coming.The mayor and board of aldermen discussed property in Smithville Monday night that one alderman called an “eyesore,” some because of its dilapidated state, and some that city officials said was simply covered with junk.Mayor Jimmy Poss said that there were several troublesome properties around town, and that attempts to get some of the locations cleaned up without citing the owners have been fruitless.“There’s property in town that has a lot of junk in the yard,” Poss shared. “It’s in more than one spot. I realize that when we get into this, it will entail a lot of problems, but I can show you houses that have been abandoned, they are grown up, and the house needs to be torn down,” the mayor said.“We want to give the property owners the chance to clean it up, but I want to make everyone aware that sooner or later we’re going to have to send some citations out.”Alderman Danny Washer told the board that he has been concerned about the matter for some time, even talking to the city codes inspector about possible solutions.“I talked to Mr. O’Neil (city codes inspector) about a year ago, and the problem is that you can’t find some of the owners. you send out notices to the last known property owner and get no response,” Washer told the board.Alderman Tim Stribling wanted to know what measures the city could take against property owners who are not in compliance with city codes.“Can the city send out notices on some of these properties, and if no one cleans it up can the city do it and put a lien on the property (for the clean up cost)?” he asked.Washer said that he had been trying to get an answer to that question himself.“I think what we can do is add it onto their taxes, but I never got a definite legal answer on that,” he said.Alderman Gayla Hendrix said that she felt the owners of the properties in question should be warned before any action was taken.“I think we should start by sending out notices on property that’s not meeting the ordinance requirements,” Hendrix said.