GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) – Owners of unkempt properties in Greenfield could face fines under an enforcement program launched by police frustrated by properties that they say are posing health and safety hazards.
Police Chief John Jester said he asked Mayor Chuck Fewell about an enforcement program after police were called to several properties that were “loaded with trash” and posed health and safety hazards.
“There are areas around town where people just don’t take care of their properties,” Jester told the Daily Reporter. “This way, there is concentrated efforts to make sure things are cleaned up.”
Jester said officers will be instructed to look for disheveled properties while on patrol and to ticket homeowners who are violating city ordinances regarding rubbish and nuisances. They’ll then follow up to ensure the violations are corrected.
Violations could include abandoned cars, improper garbage disposal, allowing trees or shrubbery to obstruct public walkways and emitting smoke or noxious odors. Penalties can include fines of up to $100.
Jester says the goal of the enforcement push is to ensure that people take care of their properties.
Fewell said he has been fielding complaints from residents about the issue for some time. The mayor said the city will give residents a chance to do their spring cleaning before it cracks down.
“The problems spring up when you have five houses on the block that work hard to keep their homes clean and looking nice, and there are one or two that don’t,” he said. “We won’t nitpick about grass length, but we want to have cleaner neighborhoods.”
He said the efforts are worth it if they result in cleaner neighborhoods.
“We want to keep the city attractive,” Fewell said. “It’s important that we all have that vision of cleanliness so that people want to come here to visit and do business.”