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Hills adopts $500 fine for nuisance junk

Mavis Fodness

Residents in Hills face a $500 fine if they are found in violation of the city’s nuisance junk ordinance after Oct. 1.
Council members unanimously adopted the fine for the misdemeanor offense at their Sept. 14 meeting.
The fine is in response to the council’s ongoing effort to clean up yards in the city limits.
Two months ago, notifications were sent to 300 Hills residents, property and business owners to clean up their properties or face potential fines.
Deadline for cleanup is Oct. 1.
Residents are also subject to any cleanup costs if the city is forced to rid the property of nuisance items.
Any unpaid fines or cleanup bills will be assessed to the owner’s property taxes. No maximum penalty was established.
City attorney Paul Vis sent the nuisance letters on Aug. 1. Since that time, the city has sponsored two cleanup days for residents to use. “We’ve given them plenty of opportunity,” said council member Vickie Busswitz.
Council members have noticed renters are the primary violators of the city’s ordinance adopted in 2013. However, no fine has been associated with the ordinance until the Sept. 14 meeting.
The nuisance ordinance asks all residents to “remove all unlicensed, uninsured, inoperable vehicles, yard debris, garbage, waste, etc.” from the property.
Once the property is cleaned, if the nuisance reoccurs within 12 months, the fine will double to $1,000.

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