News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007

Athens junk owners told to clean up act
Residents have until Monday to remove vehicles from yard

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Readers who have junk vehicles in their yards will find that this is their last warning.

Starting Monday, Athens police will bring out their citation books.

Capt. Marty Bruce said the department is devoting one officer per shift to enforce the junk vehicle ordinance and work with the city's two code enforcement officers. He said there will be no further warnings.

Violators facing fines

All violators will receive citations to appear in court and face fines of not less than $100 and not more than $500, plus up to six months in jail.

Bruce said a junk vehicle is one without a current license plate and one that cannot move under its own power.

The officers will canvass the entire city, Bruce said.

This is in response to the City Council's stance on clean community efforts. At its Monday meeting, the council watched a presentation that included photographs of abandoned and often rusty vehicles in residents' yards.

Bruce said the department's code enforcement officers have been issuing warnings and citations for the past year.

He said they responded to 411 clean community complaints last year and cited 39 people. Bruce said the officers also mailed 50 letters to people seen throwing litter from their vehicles.

"Most violations were cleared up after owners were issued a corrective warning notice," Bruce said.

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