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TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2007
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Warnings required for some Athens junk violations

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

ATHENS — The City Council approved a new junk and litter ordinance Monday that will require warning tickets for certain violations, not including littering.

The change comes after Athens police officers issued at least 177 citations in April with no warnings.

The fine for a junk vehicle is $30 plus $146 in court costs. The litter fine is a minimum of $100 plus court costs on the first violation.

An additional violation within a year would be a minimum of $200.

The fine on the first violation for not keeping a property clean of litter, overgrown weeds and grass, or free from junk and inoperable vehicle without a current license tag, is a minimum of $30 and a maximum of $200. A second violation within the year is another $100.

The violator will receive a corrective notice and the problem should be corrected within five days.

The Police Department's enforcement officers do go on private property if they suspect the owner is violating the ordinance.

If the city has to correct the problem, the violators will have to reimburse the city for its work.

One citizen complained at the meeting about property on both sides of Brownsferry Road, north of Hine Street. The property is an existing woods area but heavy with undergrowth that gives wild animals habitat in which to hide.

Mayor Dan Williams said he wasn't sure if the new ordinance covers existing woods. He asked City Attorney Shane Black to determine whether the city could require owners to clean off the property with natural brush and trees.

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