Seven cited for nuisance properties

LISBON — Seven village residents first warned in May about the trash and junked vehicles in their yards have been cited by the police department, and this is just the beginning.

Lt. Shar Daub said the seven represent the first wave of citations, and other citations are to follow as the police department takes a more aggressive approach in enforcing the village’s nuisance properties laws.

The police department mails warning letters to about 120 households every spring. The majority comply, but there are still a significant number who fail to take any action. The police department ends up issuing about 10 citations, but Daub said council wants them to step up those efforts.

“Its usually the same offenders over and over,” she said.

The following are the initial list of properties and persons that were cited:

–Mike Cochran, 54, Sunset Drive, filth accumulation violation for letting 15 bags of garbage pile up on his property. He pleaded guilty in court this week, but the $250 fine was suspended by the judge provided he was not cited again.

–Justin Miller, 33, of 225 E. High St., filth accumulation for having raw garbage, mattresses and other items on his property. He was found guilty in court this week, but the $250 fine was suspended by the judge provided his property is cleaned up by Sept. 15.

–Christine Minger, 238-1/2 W. Lincoln Way, filth accumulation violation for leaving 20 bags of garbage on her porch.

–Charles Gilmore, 122 E. Washington St., junked vehicle violation.

–Garry Frank, 218 Pritchard Ave., junked vehicle violation.

–Malinda Reynolds, 544 E. Chestnut St., high grass violation.

–Brian Sutton, 248 Sherman St., high grass violation.

Daub said the filth accumulation violation is a third-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible fine of $500. The other offenses are minor misdemeanors, with a maximum possible fine of $150.

She said each person has been given two prior warning letters — one in May and another one last month –before action was taken.

A second round of citations are being issued against two other residents/property owners, and Daub said these people will be cited under amendments to the village’s nuisance laws enacted by council in June. This expanded the nuisance law definition to items and materials that until recent years were not commonly left to accumulate in yards, such as vehicle parts and scrap material.

Five more warning letters were also mailed out to residents whose properties are in violation of the high grass and junked vehicle laws.

Daub said earlier in the year they cited Tracey Vangiesen, Sherman Street, for a junked vehicle violation.

Police Chief Mike Abraham said they try to work with residents by giving them ample time to address the problems cited, but there are those who do make a good-faith effort.

“If they would just call,” Abraham said, adding he knows in some instances there circumstances beyond the control of the resident, but failure to respond is not an option. “Any response is better than no response.”