Council looks to clean up town

SALINEVILLE-Members of the village council want residents with unsightly junk and clutter on their property to clean up. However, before council members can get residents to start cleaning up their properties, they have to find the most recent and relevant ordinances regarding cluttered properties among the still-disorganized village ordinance books.

Councilmen Jim Wilson broached the subject, saying one property in particular near the railroad tracks on the East end of the village is especially unsightly and one of the first things people see as they come into town from state Route 39.

“Put up a fence around it or something so people don’t see it,” said Wilson.

Another property oft-complained about in the 100 block of West Main Street is similarly unsightly according to Wilson. At this property junk cars and trash fill the front and back yard.

Village Police Chief Andy Straley said he receives complaints about both properties regularly and would be happy to enforce village ordinances regarding unsightly properties if it was clear what ordinance should be used.

“I can follow up but to me it looks like there’s about 15 ordinances that say the same thing and none of them make sense to me,” said Straley. “If I have one (ordinance) that’s set I’ll be able to go up and give them a notice.

Straley suggested that the village mail out certified notices to all residents with unsightly property at once. That way, he contended, the village would not be seen as singling out any one property owner.

Council decided to send Wilson, who heads the buildings and health committee, around town with Straley to compile a list of properties in violation of village ordinances. In the meantime, council members say they will attempt to sort out the ordinances. Council President Sally Keating, who also sat on the previous village council, said members of that council were in the process of updating an older ordinance when their terms expired. She said an updated draft of the ordinance was never given to the village solicitor for review and was never finished. Council members said they are currently using and ordinance adopted in 1984. They said they plan to send this ordinance to the solicitor for review and, once approved, will apply it to residents with unsightly properties.