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City to address repeat trash offenders

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 10:23 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 10:39 a.m. CDT
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An amendment to an ordinance aimed to address repeat trash offenders at multi-family and commercial properties is now in place following city council approval.

On the second reading of an amendment to an ordinance for garbage, trash and the like, city council waived the third reading and adopted the new language. The amendment is aimed at cracking down on multi-family and commercial property residences in Newton who have been repeat offenders of trash and garbage offenses by requiring them to install permanent trash enclosures.

“We’re running into habitual offenders. The tools that we currently have aren’t stopping the problem from continuing to happen,” director of planning and zoning Erin Chambers said. “What this new code language would do is provide the city another tool to work towards a permanent solution.”

The new ordinance will come into effect if the property has been cited or abated for trash or garbage three times within a 12-month period. The citations could come from offenses where the depositing of, maintaining, permitting or failing to remove, garbage, trash, rubbish, bottles, cans or other refuse outside of a building on any property within the city, including large quantities of organic debris and materials, which accumulated by other than natural means, except neatly maintained compost piles.

When a multi-family dwelling, consisting of three or more units, or a commercial building property has been cited or abated three or more times for garbage and trash violations, the city may require the property owner to put up a permanent screening enclosure surrounding any exterior trash receptacles or trash gathering space, in addition to any other remedies or penalties previously stipulated.

“There has been enough instances that we are dealing with this that we decided we need to find another solution to try to fix problems,” Chambers said. “We aren’t wanting to be out at the same properties all of the time tagging and citing nuisances.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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