Spring cleaning? Salem passes property upkeep law

In an effort to rid Salem of junk cars, dilapidated houses and debris on properties, the board voted unanimously April 13 to pass a property maintenance ordinance.

Increasing numbers of properties throughout the town have fallen into disrepair and are becoming a health and public safety issue, town administrator Patrick Casey pointed out.

junkcar-mf-photojock“And citizens are requesting that these situations be remedied,” Casey said.

Prior to the enforcement of this ordinance, there are many steps the town will take to ensure a smooth and equal enforcement. These steps include identification of properties subject to the ordinance, public education and notification to property owners, enforcement, staffing and other methods of property clean up.

A mailer or flyer will be created that outlines the program and informs the community of its intention and implementation time line. This information will also be published on the town’s website.

Casey said the town will first respond to the complaints. “We will start with the amount of trash and junk in the yards,” he said.

Enforcement will begin by addressing the properties that received these complaints.

“The goal of enforcement is to have the offending property cleaned up and remain in good condition,” Casey stated. “The town will work with the property owner to complete the clean up in a shortest possible period of time.”

However, if the owner of a property refuses to comply, he or she will be cited and subject to a fine beginning at $150 per day to a maximum of $2,500 per day. The town may also ask the courts to mandate clean up. In that event, the town will contract with a clean up service and place the cost on the property owner’s tax bill.

 “It’s a solid ordinance ” Casey said. “This is not only about safety, it’s a health issue.”

In other business, the board received three applications for the two vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission. After a lengthy discussion, the board appointed Ruth Dargan and Cary Artac.

The board passed a resolution adopting the Town of Bristol/Town of Salem Cooperative Plan which authorizes municipalities to set the boundary lines between/among themselves upon having approval by the State of Wisconsin.

The purchase of a paramedic vehicle in the amount of $31,162.62 was approved along with new fire apparatus in the amount of $29,17.32. Funds have been budgeted for these purchases.

Junk car photo (not necessarily from Salem) by photojock via morgueFile

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