Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Hello Everyone!

I’m starting my fourth month in office, the water has now receded, and I have time once again to focus more on priorities, and less on flooding. If you read this week’s Cumberland County News you will see my monthly article in which I write about the incentives for new and existing businesses I’d like to see approved for the city. I believe these are very important for the future of Burkesville. But, I’m writing about a different topic today.

If any of you have read what I’ve written over the past year or two you will remember my feelings regarding how our town looks to others; Tourists. Prospective business owners. Investors. And Visitors in general. All these people have one thing in common, they all contribute financially to our community.

Some of the grants I spoke about in the paper deal with improving the looks of our commercial buildings in town. If a prospective business person comes into town they don’t want to see dilapidated buildings, rusted cars, and trash everywhere. If they are not impressed by the pride we take in our community they will probably take their business elsewhere.

Which brings me to the current subject. Nuisances.

These would be the dilapidated houses that are falling down and never get mowed. The empty lots that are all grown up. The junk cars next to the road. The bushes and trees that grow into the road and make it impossible to see. The trash. The junk. The crap. That makes our town look bad to visitors.

It’s time to clean it up, Burkesville. If you are a property owner, or you rent a property, within the city limits of Burkesville, you have an obligation to keep your property in good order.

Chapter 92 of our Ordinances is entitled Nuisances. 92.02 states Common Law and Statutory Nuisances. “Those offenses which are known to the common law and statutes of Kentucky as public nuisances may be treated as such and be proceeded against as is provided in this chapter or in accordance with any other provisions of law. Penalty (which is 92.99 PENALTY) reads, “Whoever violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $500 for each offense. Each day’s continued violation shall constitute a separate offense.”

Again, it’s time to clean it up, Burkesville!

We have copies of these documents referred to at city hall, and we will be happy to give them to anyone that wishes to receive them.

I’ll hit the highlights from 92.03 - CERTAIN CONDITIONS DECLARED A NUISANCE. I’ll not post the exact wording to save space and typing, but give a definition after each.

“It shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant, or person having control or management of any land within the city to permit a public nuisance to develop thereon. The following conditions are declared to be public nuisances:”

(A) Dangerous trees or stacks adjoining street. This means dead trees ready to fall and cause harm.
(B) Accumulation of Rubbish. It uses the words filth, refuse, trash, garbage, or other waste material “which endangers public health, welfare, or safety, or materially interferes with the peaceful enjoyment by owners or occupants of adjacent property” because it might catch fire, attract vermin, rodents, or insects.
(C) Storage of Explosives. Enough said.
(D) Weeds and Grass.  If the lots has a building on it, not over 6 inches. No building, 12 inches. This does NOT apply to land that doesn’t adjoin a city street or which is zoned for agricultural use. (Ord. 1982-18)
(E) Open Wells. If it’s unfenced, wells, cisterns, cellars, etc. need to be covered.
(F) Trees and Shrubbery Obstructing Streets and Sidewalks. Shrubbery - Anything closer than 20 feet from an intersection of two streets can’t be over 3 feet tall.
(G) Keeping of Animals. Failure to keep pen, yard, lot or enclosure in a sanitary condition from from preventable offensive odors. No swine within 300 feet of a dwelling in the city.
(H) Junk, Scrap Metal, Inoperative Motor Vehicles. The storage of such is prohibited within city limits.

92.04 ABATEMENT PROCEDURE. Some of these cover the same ground, as previously stated above. I’ll skip the duplicated ones.

(A)(2) Mobile or manufactured homes that are junked, wrecked, or nonoperative.
(C) Structure on the property cannot become unfit and unsafe for human habitation.
(E)(1) The city shall have a lien against the property for the reasonable value of labor and materials used in remedying the nuisance situation.
(E)(2) The lien shall bear interest.

So that is the gist of it in a lengthy nutshell.

If a person receives a Certified Letter from the City of Burkesville regarding a piece of property in town, it needs to be taken seriously. If the  person receiving the notice does nothing, the absolute least that will happen is that the city will clean it up and put a lien on the property for the amount it costs the city.

This isn’t being mentioned to be mean, but some people have been asked nicely, and not so nicely, to clean their property up over the years, and nothing was done. No consequences. 

We need to take pride in our town.

No Regrets

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