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City of consider new property violation fees

BY: Rikki Cason | January 28, 2013

fining property owners violating a city ordinance.

During Wednesday’s Common Council meeting Alderman Pat Schrader said the city has a problem when they write appearance tickets for people who are continuously in violation of ordinances, including not removing the trash carts from the curb, not shoveling snow, not cutting grass and not getting a dog license.

Then, he said, when they appear in front of the judge, many are able to talk their way out of being fined by saying they already fixed what they were cited for.

“Then next year there is the same problem,” said Schrader. “It goes round and round.”

To help cut down on this, Schrader would like to give authority to enforcement officer Robert Turner to write a ticket, similar to a parking ticket, to people he finds in violation.

Those receiving a ticket, who do not want to dispute if they are guilty or not, would then have the option to pay a fee at the city clerk’s office instead of appearing in court.

The council said this new process could help free up time in court, with less people potentially choosing to appear.

City Attorney John Ottaviano said a fee schedule for the various violations a person could commit needs to be developed and a public hearing will be held at a future date.

In other city news:

• Ottaviano said he has narrowed down the offers the city has received to buy the current Sprint lease for their cell tower in Outwater Park.

The city received four bids, two for the Sprint lease only and two were for the Sprint lease, plus would also be seeking a master lease for the entire tower.

Ottaviano said because the amounts offered for the entire tower were only approximately $20,000 more than the other two offers, it didn’t financially make sense to sell the antenna space on the entire tower.

By only selling the Sprint lease portion, the city could still sell or lease out the use of the rest of the tower in the future.

The Spring lease has 12 years left of a 25-year contract. Sprint currently pays $15,408 per year in their contract.

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