The changes to the city ordinances will affect the city codes
regarding nuisance and dangerous buildings.
Building and safety
officer John Lebegue had last week presented the council with his
draft of changes that could be made in the ordinances in order to
give him more power to pursue abandoned homes in the city of
Last week he went through the ordinance changes, which included
expanding the definitions of a dangerous building and added language
to the nuisance ordinance about houses that are boarded up, burned
out or dilapidated.
In addition, the changes add hefty fines for violators and
escalated fines for owners of multiple abandoned properties.
Lebegue also added language to address indoor furniture being
used outside. After the motion to approve was made and the floor
opened to discussion, that point drew the most interest from city
The first question came from Chuck Conzo, city treasurer, who
asked Lebegue to define what types of furniture would be in
Conzo said he understood about box springs and mattresses, but he
was thinking about people who had tables and chairs on a covered
Lebegue said it wasn't so much about tables and chairs as it was
about upholstered furniture such as chairs and couches.
Conzo said then if someone would take a kitchen table and put it
on their porch, that should not be an issue.
Lebegue said if it was sheltered and designed to be outdoors, he
couldn't imagine it would be a problem.
Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs wondered if the language should specify
furniture on the lawn, but Lebegue said he didn't think the
ordinance needed to be that specific.
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Alderman David Wilmert asked if Lebegue would exercise some
discretion on this topic. He said he knew students in rental
properties who had sofas on their front porches. He said they were
covered, but just out there so they could enjoy the outside.
Lebegue said if they were on a covered porch and protected, he
didn't think it would be a problem. On the other hand, he said if it
is open, with wind and rain hitting it, that would be a problem.
Mayor Keith Snyder also indicated a problem with this type of
furniture is that vermin will nest in it, and that should be a
City attorney Bill Bates said Blinn Bates had already been
working on the legal versions of the ordinance changes, and they
will be ready for the city to review at next week's workshop
When the matter came to a vote, it passed unanimously 9-0.
Alderman Buzz Busby was absent for the evening.
[By NILA SMITH]
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