ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany city leaders will be cracking down on blighted property.
On Tuesday night, city commissioners told residents they will have to do a better job with maintaining their grass and trash on the streets.
Commissioner BJ Fletcher said she will start holding residents and organizations accountable for the tall grass along Stuart Avenue and other areas.
"We've just got some areas that look horrible," Fletcher remarked.
Commissioner Fletcher was talking about the blighted properties on Gillionville, Nottingham, and Stuart that have trash, grass more than 10 inches high and "simply unkempt."
Fletcher pointed out that the issue isn't just with residents but also includes city and county properties and even schools.
"If you can't keep up with your property and you are one of these that go in the parking lot and you drop your trash off. We're asking the citizens to take pictures, send it to us, and we are absolutely going to get them fined and get them in court," Fletcher explained.
Fletcher said blighted properties have plagued the city for years.
But now, she explained there are city commissioners who are willing to take action through fines that could cost residents up to $1,000.
Fletcher was even willing to put liens on blighted properties.
For renters, she said the landlord will be fined which could lead to higher rents.
According to the city's vegetation ordinance, city staff sends a notice to the property owner or others in control of the property after receiving complaints.
The city gives residents 14 days to fix the problem. If the work is not completed in that period, the city may do it and bill the owner for the clean-up. If the nuisance poses an imminent danger, the city may fix the problem without notice to the owner but will bill the person responsible.
Commissioner Fletcher will be asking Code Enforcement officers to start writing tickets when they spot blighted properties, and to also report back at city commission meetings on the number of residents fined and/or arrested.
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