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Village of Turin looks to establish new property maintenance ordinance

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TURIN — The village is considering the adoption of a new property maintenance ordinance, after several citizens voiced concerns about the conditions of several properties in the village at a previous meeting.

The Board of Trustees met Tuesday night and several community members came to discuss the ordinance. It would address grass length, unused vehicles, clutter and other property appearances.

Village Mayor Douglas Hunt read the letter aloud from community member Frances Gaylord, which said in part, “As concerned community residents we feel that the quality and appearance of our community is threatened by junkyard conditions on some properties. This is effecting our property values, quality of life and visitors to our community. We need to see an ordinance adopted by the village board to communicate to all the residents in an effort to clean up our community.”

Mr. Hunt drafted his own letter to send to the properties in question explaining the concern of the residents and the ordinance that has been proposed.

According to Mr. Hunt’s letter, if the ordinance was in place, once a complaint is filed an enforcement officer would do a site visit and submit a report. If the property is deemed to be in violation, a notification would be issued. If the situation is not corrected in the time frame allotted, a fine of up to $125 would be assessed.

Mr. Hunt said in the letter that the village board wants to avoid having to make a new law and asks for residence cooperation to maintain their property.

Mr. Hunt said he thought the letter would be enough or at least a first step to resolving the problem.

“I understand the concern. I think that Turin is not in bad shape right now, I know that is only my opinion,” Mr. Hunt said. “It is not the opinion of everyone. It has been worse in the past, in my opinion.”

Some members of the community thought otherwise.

“I personally, Doug, I feel like the band-aid wouldn’t really be what I am looking for,” Mary Rhodes said. “The letter certainly would not be a bad idea at all, but I think it really just postpones what I am looking for and that would be something that would be in place for a longer term that we would be able, should there be abuses of a situation three, four years from now we would not have to go through the same process we are going through now to get a letter out. It would simply be in place and something we could act upon if we needed to.”

Some residents thought there is an existing ordinance that the village had passed. A community member said she heard the ordinance is part of the village’s bylaws. She stated that it had been there for years, but it has not been enforced.

The village board is unsure of where the book with local laws is located. A community member said that if they tried to look back at the minute books that they would be able to find the meeting where the original ordinance was established.

No motion was made to move forward with the establishment of the ordinance. The board decided to review the sample ordinances they have received from other local municipalities before making any decisions.

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