Carolyn Mullins, Ron Stollings and other concerned citizens addressed elected officials at the Madison City Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 2, to ask what can be done to enforce town ordinances on the upkeep of property.
Usually, we mail them a letter and that takes about 10 days and if they dont respond to that letter at all, we can issue citations, or a ticket, Mayor Sonny Howell told the assembled group.
Those in attendance were voicing concerns with how to clean up the image of downtown Madison and hold accountable property and land owners who allowed buildings to become abandoned and filled with garbage.
When does it turn into a lien on the property? Mullins asked the city council members.
City Council members said they would take the concerns expressed by the citizens group to the city attorney for clarification on that particular topic.
REV-Up Madison, a grassroots group of concerned citizens attempting to revitalize the economic appeal and quality of life to downtown Madison shared their concerns that many empty buildings were becoming not only eyesores, but possible hazards to the health and safety of area residents.
There is a current ordinance in place that fines them up to $100 or $500 a day if they dont clean up these places; Id have to double-check the exact amount, Howell stated.
Howell also noted that in at least one case, a property owner who had been issued a letter warning him of a possible citation for not maintaining his property came to Madison from out of town and did minimal repairs on the property.
According to Howell, the process of contacting this particular property owner became a vicious cycle of repeated warnings and minimal effort on the part of the property owner in maintaining his building.
I dont think we have an accurate listing of property owners I think we have to get an accurate list of who the property owners are and with due diligence notify the right person, City Council Official Renee Hager said.
Were not going to get anybody to come in and open up businesses with the way it looks now downtown, Mullins said.
In other Madison city council news, several property owners from a local housing development were in attendance on Monday to vent their complaints to city officials.
Look for that story in next weeks edition of the Coal Valley News.
Contact Joanie Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-369-1165.