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WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2007
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Athens seeks opinion on collecting liens

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — City leaders are seeking an opinion from the state's attorney general on whether they can force the county's revenue commissioner to collect city-imposed liens.

City Council President Har-old Wales said Tuesday that Revenue Commissioner Brian Patterson said he no longer has the manpower to continue collecting city-imposed liens. The city imposes liens when it condemns buildings that the property owner refuses to improve.

Before property with a lien can sell, the lien must be paid, City Clerk John Hamilton said.

"The revenue commissioner then disburses it to us, but we've been told that will stop," Hamilton said.

Patterson's office was closed after the council meeting, and The Daily was unable to contact him or County Commission Chairman David Seibert.

Athens attorney Shane Black said the attorney general's office has not responded to the opinion request. The council made the request in May.

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