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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Town cracks down on abandoned cars

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CLOVERDALE -- The town of Cloverdale has taken a big step in solving its abandoned vehicle problem.

During a regular town council meeting Tuesday, a resolution on abandoned vehicles was passed in hopes to improve the look of the community.

Resolution 2009-1 states council can take direct action against anyone in violation of the state's abandoned vehicle law. This gives Town Marshal Don Pearson and his deputies the right to take any action necessary to have the vehicle removed. Town council will then make an official decision at its next scheduled meeting.

Pearson was not at Tuesday's meeting, however.

"It makes a communication difference when the marshal is not (at the meetings). He needs to be present," council member Terry Puffer said.

Council President Don Sublett said Pearson would be in attendance at the April meeting with a report on abandoned vehicles in the area.

The stronger ordinance means once a vehicle has been left inoperable for 20 days, it will be towed.

Vehicles worth $750 or less will be sold for scrap metal to an approved salvage yard. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the towing fee with any remaining money going to the town.

Should an abandoned vehicle be worth more than $750 a public sale or auction would be held. Those proceeds would be distributed.

Among passed ordinances was a utility ordinance. Town council members will comprise a new utility board. Its first meeting will be held March 17 at town hall.

Town attorney Alan Yackey reminded council members, when considering utility matters, Cloverdale is due for some growth. He said U.S. 231 and Interstate 70 are "prime for development."

Some items on the new board's agenda include bringing old ordinances up to date. Some had not been looked at since the late 1970s and include fees such as $25 for messing with a fire hydrant.

The hydrant-tampering fee could be raised to $100 for a first-time offense and $200 for repeat offenders. There may also be a $250 fee imposed after 17 days of delinquency on a utility bill.

In other business, Sublett requested permission to inquire about the purchase of the Farmer property.

A lift station needs to be moved and Sublett feels this one-acre piece of property located across the street from the current station is perfect.

Council gave approval with the agreement a rock clause would be included. The clause will state should the land not be suited for a lift station, council is under no obligation to purchase it.

Other approvals given by council:

* Utility manager Don Guthrie was given permission to purchase a 2008 Ford F350 pick-up. The truck has a utility bed preinstalled, which gives room for necessary tools and parts to be on board at all times.

The utility department needs at least one vehicle replaced, Guthrie said. He told council members several incentives are being given on the price.

Puffer stated he felt maybe the town waited too long before replacing the utility vehicles. He made the motion for the purchase of the $34,725 vehicle, which was seconded by Steve Caulkins, vice-president.

* Council approved to move $30,000 from the water depreciation fund to cover the water department for the month of February. Approval was also given to move $30,000 again to cover the month of March.

Patti Truax said the department only takes in $40,000 to $45,000 each month and has $50,000 to $55,000 going out. This is the reason for the water rate hike just approved by the town council.

* An upset council member asked all vehicle repairs be removed from Steele's Auto and Wrecker Service. Dennis Padgett said he and other council members have been receiving phone calls at all hours of the night from owner Jim Steele while he is intoxicated.

"It's disrespectful," Padgett said.

Council agreed to require three estimates -- excluding Steele's -- for any vehicle repairs.

* The 2010 census is approaching and creating some jobs. Anyone interested in one of the temporary government jobs can visit www.census.gov

Sublett asked for 10 volunteers to help coordinate the 2010 census.

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Are the fish biting? This story opened a can of worms. I was not at the meeting, so my comments are stemming from this article.

Although I agree that a certain resident does have an eyesore on her property, I can't believe that the town can send a wrecker to remove cars out of her yard. This seems agressive since the cars are not in the street.

I'm starting to wonder if the laws being considered are for or against the residents of Cloverdale. Is there a threat of hydrant abuse going on? If someone is delinquent on a $95 water bill, can't you simply shut off the water until the bill is paid? If there is a need for more money to go to the water department, charge for it accordingly. Please don't try to make it up with big fines for the people who are strapped for money to start with.

The part about vehicle repairs is just to hot to comment on (but not surprising).

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 5:31 AM

WOW. Clean up Cloverdale? Great idea, and it is about time. I once needed a bumper for a car, drove to Cloverdale to look for a similar car in a yard, on blocks, not drivable, call it whatever you want -- and BINGO! the first street I drove down was a car on blocks with the part I needed, matching perfectly, same color too! it was amazing. But I knew it would not take long to find one in Cloverdale sitting in a yard. By the way, I purchased the part for $20, saving me some cash rather than going to a salvage yard. I bet that car is still sitting there (after 8 years).

To the people of Cloverdale ... Congrats! get that place cleaned up a bit starting with the junk cars, abandoned cars, cars on blocks, etc., etc., etc. Might get people that want to live there ??? maybe.

-- Posted by GRNT on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 6:40 AM

* An upset council member asked all vehicle repairs be removed from Steele's Auto and Wrecker Service. Dennis Padgett said he and other council members have been receiving phone calls at all hours of the night from owner Jim Steele while he is intoxicated.

"It's disrespectful," Padgett said.

Council agreed to require three estimates -- excluding Steele's -- for any vehicle repairs.

Wow looks like Steel's Auto is not going to be in business much longer!

-- Posted by mal on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 10:43 AM

cloverdale is the most political town I've ever seen. I'am glad to see that there going to clean a few things up. Also, the thing about steels, I think that his garage is a good one. I've never had any problems with him. I've aslo been to the other garage up town alot, and every time I go there, I have to take my vehicle back, or I have to take it elsewhere to be repaired agian.Have you ever tryed to talk to that other guy, it takes a long time to get anything out of him, as with jim, he'll tell you right then and there. I think they should stay with Jim Steel, just because he's a drunk, doesn't mean he's a bad mechinic. He's been here longer than alot of us. Some of you board memmbers need replaced,but do we print in the paper any thing about your bad habbits. I also feel bad for the towns peaple about there water bills. We are having such a hard time now and they want more money. It would be nice if we as locals could see where the money is going. I hope none of the politics are pocketing it. Just what do some of those guys pay themselfs, I'de like to know.

-- Posted by yourdaddy on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 10:47 AM

one more thing, I think there stupid for spending OUR MONEY on a new truck that they don;t really need.I have a older truck and I make do with what I got. There's more politics without any sense. Save the money and put it on something esle.

-- Posted by yourdaddy on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 10:59 AM

Good job Cloverdale Town Council!

-- Posted by captain crunch on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 1:09 PM

Great idea! In the middle of a recession, confiscate vehicles from people who are saving up what they can scrape from an unemployment claim for auto repair, then expedite the failure of their mortgages and foreclosures by hiking utility bills. 231 and I70 are, after all, prime for development. The town will need the scrap money and real estate for it and besides, us wealthy retirees would just as soon see those working class peons driving ten year old cars move on down the road anyway.

Funny, the guy they're counting on for enforcement didn't bother showing up.

-- Posted by westforty on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 2:17 PM

If the utility bill is delinquent for seventeen days it would be likely they don't have the money to pay it. So how is adding on $250 going to help get the bill paid?

Times are hard, and they are going to get harder. People are already struggling to make ends meet. More people are losing jobs and jobs are harder to find. How many on the Town Board have ever lost a job and been unemployed for months or years?

And as far as purchasing the Farmer property goes - what use would be made of the property? It is a very unique structure, would it be restored? What year was the house built?

I believe the comment about Jim Steele was something that should not have been published. It seems like it is a problem between him and the board and should not have been made known to Putnam county. Maybe, he needs to talk to an attorney about this being published in the paper. The way he does business is 100% better than the other one north of town. He is honest, will give you an answer and his mechanics do excellent work.

I have lived in Cloverdale for the past twenty years. Where are all of these cars at that need to be towed off?

-- Posted by cloverlady on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 11:10 AM

Is there any kind of grace period for these people to get their cars back? This article makes it sound like once your car has been towed in, it's lost unless you buy it back at an auction.

Also, I agree that maybe the comments about the drunk dialer should of remained out of the paper!

-- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 12:28 PM

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