04/05/06 — Mount Olive puts teeth in junk car ordinance

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Mount Olive puts teeth in junk car ordinance

By Turner Walston
Published in News on April 5, 2006 1:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive Town commissioners adopted a new ordinance Monday allowing for the removal of abandoned, nuisance and junked vehicles.

Mount Olive Code enforcement officer Danny Keel said the ordinance strengthens his ability to deal with the junked cars and trucks.

"It covers more area, and it gives us more leeway or more authority to deal with junk cars," Keel said. "It puts more responsibility on the property owner to remove the cars than it does the town."

The ordinance allows Keel to administer civil penalties, uniform citations or removal of the vehicle.

"It's $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $300 for the third offense," Keel said of the civil penalties. "After they violate three times, then we'll probably take them to court." In approving the new ordinance, commissioners repealed the previous junk car ordinance. The new legislation covers Mount Olive's extra-territorial jurisdiction. "I plan to enforce it out in that area, too," Keel said.

Town officials are hoping violators will be more responsive to penalties.

"I'm going to have to weigh my options and decide which way I'm going to go with it," Keel said.

This morning, Keel was preparing to send about 100 letters to property owners, notifying them of the new ordinance. "I'm letting them know, failure to comply with the ordinance will result in either a civil penalty, citation or removal of the vehicle," he said.

Also at the meeting, assistant Town Manager Charles Brown told commissioners that the town had experienced success selling surplus items through GovDeals.com. The town recently sold a fire truck, backhoe, and box of pagers for a combined $14,460. Plans are in place to sell patrol car accessories, a Case tractor and dump truck through the web site.

During the public forum, resident David Armstrong Jr. said there was a problem with speeding on Franklin Street.

"This is not a freeway, it's a city street," he said. Armstrong suggested speed humps would help control speeding on the street.

With Mayor Ruff Huggins recovering from pacemaker surgery, Jimmy Kornegay, mayor pro tempore, presided over the meeting Monday.