Aldermen approve new building code’s fines in Aberdeen

Monroe StockBy CAROLYN PARSON/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – The board of aldermen approved a recommendation by David Low regarding fines as part of Aug. 20 discussion regarding the adoption of the upcoming building code. Low’s suggestion came after reviewing similar ordinances in 20 other Mississippi municipalities.

The board approved Low’s suggested dollar amounts of fines to be a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $500.

“We’ve only had a piece of an ordinance. Now, I have a stick, people”, Low said.

The ordinance allows the city to regulate and enforce laws regarding the upkeep of properties. Currently, the city has to go through an adjudication process to clean up unsightly properties.

Because of this lengthy process, both city and citizens become frustrated in trying to get empty lots mowed and cleaned up, uninhabited properties kept up as well as dangerous and condemned properties removed. Aberdeen has several properties where the owners are out of town.

“We’ve got a lot of slum lords and I think we should have the property inspected to make sure these houses are okay to rent,” said Ward 2 alderman Wilchie Clay.As per the ordinance, all vehicles parked in front of a home must have a current license plate. This provision will alleviate broken down vehicles in people’s yards and improve the appearance of the neighborhood. Lawnmowers will no longer be allowed to be permanently parked in front yards. Also, grass heights are not to exceed eight inches.

“With new industry coming to the area like the Yokohama plant, we want to do everything we can to make our city an attractive and a good place to live,” said Mayor Cecil Belle.

Aldermen also discussed the acquisition of a street sweeper. With the required two bids on the table, the board decided to wait on any action until they received information on the benefits of leasing. The mayor promised to provide that information so the board can act by the next board meeting on Sept. 3.