Council can't agree on town cleanup
ROACHDALE -- In a council meeting filled with disagreements on Tuesday, it seemed like the only thing that reached a consensus was the date of Halloween.
On Wednesday the town of Roachdale sent out letters to the owners of five properties, selected from a list of 50 as the most rundown and abandoned in town.
The five were agreed upon, and unanimously voted for, at the last council meeting in August.
At Tuesday's meeting council president Jack Jones made it clear he had now disagreed with the final list.
"I know I voted on it then, but I'm not voting on it tonight," he said.
Jones was defending the property located at 204 W. Railroad St., which he said is maintained better than a number of other places in town.
Council member Zach Bowers disagreed.
"It's falling over, Jack," Bowers said.
Council member Barbara Scott agreed with Bowers, as they believed Jones has a relationship with the homeowner that changed his mind.
"I just don't think we can pick and choose which ones we want to work on because we know someone," Scott said.
The other properties are 206 West St., 209 N. East St., 500 N. Indiana St. and 302 E. Columbia St.
After the owners are notified, either by certified mail or marshal delivery, they will have 30 days to comply and clean up or tear down their properties.
"In the real world, will that happen? Nothing," town attorney Dave Peebles said. "But, in the real world, if nothing happens, we're already 50 percent closer than we were."
The owners will also be granted an audience with the town council at the Oct. 9 meeting to defend their property or discuss changes that have been made.
Following that, a decision will be made one what to do with the buildings. Options include tearing them down, issuing a fine or putting a lien on them.
With a 2-1 vote, the council agreed to issue the letters before turning its attention to the Halloween trick-or-treating schedule.
Children will be welcome from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Last year, the schedule was three hours, from 6-9 p.m., which the council said was too long.
Scott said she liked the idea of having kids around for some time in the dark and pushed for the hours to last until 9.