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Township Officials Ramping Code Enforcement Efforts

Extra staff added to deal with violations, mayor says

 

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Township officials are stepping up efforts to deal with property maintenance violations by issuing more summonses and adding more staff to the code enforcement office.

Council President James J. Byrnes said he recently toured a section near Mill Creek Road with a resident, who pointed out numerous code violations on some properties.

"There's a lot of vacant homes, a lot of violations in there," he said. "It needs to be cleaned up. The officer will be out there next week. Maybe we need to rethink bulk pickup. There's mattresses lying around."

Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said the township recently hired two part-time retired police officers to add to the code enforcement staff.

"They are busy," he said at the Aug. 14 Township Council meeting. "If a resident sees any violations, we'll make sure we get the code enforcement officer out there."

Amato - a former two-term Township Councilman - was sworn in on Jan. 1.

Since then, the township has a new municipal court judge and a new environmental prosecutor. James Gluck and Dina Vicari hold those positions, respectively.

Any violators are first given a seven-day warning to clean things up. If that doesn't happen, summonses will be issued and violators will have to appear in municipal court, Amato said.

The township eventually takes care of properties whose owners fail to make changes. That includes mowing lawns and removing items at curbside, he said.

But that will come with a price, Amato said.

"We are taking a hard line," the mayor said. "We are not just charging $30 anymore. Thirty dollars is turning into $200, $300, $400. We are moving in the right direction."

Part of the problem is the increased number of foreclosures and vacant homes throughout the township. Banks that own the properties will be charged for the cleanup costs, Amato said.

Do you think fees should be raised for code violations? Take our poll below!

joe blow December 08, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I am a single person, mind my own business, been a township resident since 1978, and I just received another "certified letter" from the town. So someone is definitely making a complaint right? My property is now where near other properties closeby with stuff...junk cars, pallets in their yards, trucks, yards loaded with kids' stuff...you kinow what I am talking about. I admit I I am not the neatest person and I could care less if someone is running a "pallet business" in their yard...as long as it doesn't bother me and keep me up at night. Please, lay off!
joe blow December 08, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I also wanted to add...there's a handful of people who have known who I am for the past 35 years as a resident. Someone new moves in and all of a sudden there is a problem with street lights, safety, lawn maintenance, etc. Most of the people around me work for the town, are BT cops, State Troopers, etc...and 1/2 of my taxes go to the education system for 35 years and I don't have any kids! So, really F$#@ OFF!
joe blow December 08, 2012 at 09:34 PM
oh yeah...by the way...being a single person I hardly have any household trash, recycles, if my can is 1/4 filled that's alot where as I see people with 3 robo cans every week overflowing with trash. That's fine...I don't care...really I don't...Since when can't I have a bike in the yard, riding mower, rakes and stuff? That's my equivalent of other's having a swingset, kids' toys, pools, barbeque grill, a boat...Yeah great...make people pay fines so the ones in charge can justify their 6 figure, double dip positions...keep their status quo. Really...blow me...
AnonymouslyHarassed March 23, 2013 at 06:27 AM
You wanna know what's truely ridiculous,the fact that you can get a violation with a fine on complete hearsay of a Jerk off neighbor,basically you can call up make a complaint(LIE) & it counts against whomever! So people shouldn't be so ready & willing to be giving out fines when god knows how many are purely out of spite! Way to think shit through,keep up the bad work!
John M March 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM
You sound like an upstanding citizen. I couldn't imagine someone falsely accusing you. I'm willing to bet fines aren't handed out based on a phone call, but I could be wrong.

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