Winamac Town Manager Addresses Code Violations

Winamac Town Manager Brad Zellers addressed some recent code-enforcement efforts when town council members met Monday.

Zellers explained that he sent out several letters to residents to inform them that they were in violation of the town’s public nuisance ordinance which deals with unkempt vegetation and clutter in people’s yards.

He said most people were addressing the issue but there are four residents who don’t appear to be making any effort. Town Attorney Justin Schramm provided some insight about the next step in the process.

Schramm shared, “So after the first letter is sent out under our ordinance, which I think is ordinance 4 of ’18 dealing with refuse and tall grass, what we can do then is after giving them a period of time to cure it, we cite them for a violation each day that it remains in violation as a new violation. So it could be $100 per day they remain in violation.”

He continued, “The Town could go in and complete the work and bill them for the work.” 

Schramm added that the reimbursement for the work completed could be obtained by putting a lien against the property and gathering the money through the property taxes or they could go through the collections process.

He noted, “What I recommend doing, those people who don’t abate their violations, just batch them and send them over to me and then if the Town wants to abate it, if you want me to go after them to collect the outstanding violations then I can do that but it’s probably best to send them over in one batch so I can handle them all at once.

Zellers said that three of the properties are all in the same area. He also noted that at one residence, they measured the grass and its more than 44 inches tall.

He said they’re hoping by this time next month they can report that all the problem have been resolved. Councilman Alvin Parrish encouraged Zellers to keep pushing the issue because the Town needs to be cleaned up.