(OOLITIC) - The Oolitic Town Council sent out 23 letters to residents who were not keeping their lawns mowed or their property was littered with junk.
Of those, 16 cleaned up their property and the city cleaned up the others.
Homeowners will be charged $75 an hour for the work. Property owners have 10 days to pay the bill, or the fee will be placed on their next tax statement.
"One of the properties had no been mowed for more than four years," said Clerk-treasure Jim Staley. "All seven of the properties that town employees cleaned up were vacant."
Town Council President Delvin Nikirk says that is a difficult situation.
"You just can't find out who owns the property. It's not an easy task. You get the run around," Nikirk says. "You call one place and they can't tell you anything. You call another and you get no answers."
Nikirk says the council had no choice but to bill residents for the work.
"We have tried and tried for years to handle the problem," he said. "We don't want the people's money and we are not trying to be mean. We want them to do their jobs and take care of their property. It's not fair to their neighbors who take pride in their properties. We have tried to be nice, but now it is time to put some teeth into the problem."
In other business:
There will be no Oolitic Town Festival this year. Sue Holmes, who is on the festival committee, says they group is lacking volunteers and funds to do a festival this year. So the festival committee voted to continue to raise funds this year and put on a festival June 1, 2013. Holmes asked the council to allow the committee to hold a road block on June 16th and a car show on July 28th. The council approved the request.
Jodi Manning asked the council to fix the flush hydrant that the town uncovered in her driveway. The council will have the problem fixed.
Town Marshall Jon Jefferies asked the council about problems with vicious dogs. Jefferies says the town has cited one owner several times because the animal was chasing and attacking other dogs and people. Jefferies says cited the owner didn't stop the problem and wanted to know if there were other steps the town could take to handle the situation. Town Attorney Gregg Pittman says the council could form an animal control commission to address the issues. The commission would act like a court of law, with both sides presenting evidence and then the commission would make a ruling on how the situation would be handled.
Staley told the council that he had applied and the town was approved for a credit card at Lowe's and Dollar General. Staley says this will save the town money and would be more convenient for town employees to purchase supplies.
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org