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Ordinance targets weed, debris issues

Property owners who fail to remove tall weeds or trash from their land soon may find the city doing it for them.

The Greenville City Council has approved a new ordinance that allows for the removal of garbage and ‘’nuisance weeds’’ from private property. With the new ordinance, which replaces a similar ordinance that has been in effect since 1993, the Building and Planning Department will take over the administration of the weed and debris violations from the Public Works Department.

Under the lot maintenance ordinance, the city can clean junk, construction debris, high grasses, and any rubble that could harbor rodents or insects. The company that holds the bid for mowing and maintenance of Magnolia Cemetery will be used to clean lots deemed to be in violation of the ordinance.

“This will give it a little more teeth,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “It will give Eddie Anderson an opportunity to get more done and get these people to pay us when we clean these lots up. This is to help keep our community clean on a timely manner.”

If a lot is deemed to be in violation of the ordinance, owners will be given 10 days from the date of notice to clean the lot. The owner has may object to the city’s decision to declare the conditions on the property a nuisance by notifying the Building and Planning Department at least four days prior to the Greenville City Council’s meeting in which the council is scheduled to approve the city’s cleaning of the property.

If the city cleans a site, it can place a lien against the property until the cost to the city is reimbursed. The city will also charge an administrative fee of $150 if the property is not cleaned up within the 10-day period.

“If the violators do not pay as directed then other steps would come into play,” said City Clerk Sue Arnold. “The last step is to place a lien on the property through county revenue officer for unpaid amount. This means property owner must pay all due in order to retain ownership of property free and clear of a lien.”

The new ordinance went into effect April 13.