City Government

City starts crackdown on nuisance properties

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The City of Crawfordsville is cracking down on nuisance properties and threatening to take owners to court if they don’t remedy violations in time.

The code enforcement office and legal department is “looking to use the breadth and the teeth” of the nuisance ordinance to more aggressively enforce violations, city attorney Kent Minnette told the Board of Public Works and Safety this week.

They’re starting with three properties filled with trash or abandoned vehicles at 216 W. North St., 117 E. College St. and 309 Covington St.  Owners have until Tuesday to clean up the properties or face possible lawsuits.

Minnette and code enforcement officer Barry Lewis may return to the board as often as every week for approval to pursue legal action against more properties.

“We’re just tired of people not paying attention and not getting action taken care of,” Lewis said.

Most of the violations that could lead to a court date involve trash removal, and the city doesn’t plan to sue over tall grass citations, Lewis said.

Meanwhile, the process of bulldozing a condemned house on the city’s east side has begun.

The board affirmed an unsafe building order for the property at 202 Canby Ave. and gave the bank holding the lien additional time to secure the property for demolition and issue the required orders. It could be up to six months before the house is razed.

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