October 26, 2011

Wilton commissioners revamp junk ordinance

By Brenda L. Schaefer, BHG News Service

Wilton City Commissioners and City Auditor Kelly Bauer had to do their homework dealing with the Junk Ordinance. They were in contact with the League of Cities trying to find out how to create a better ordinance. During the Oct. 19 meeting Bauer told commissioners that she also called city lawyer Dave Lindell to get more information about how the ordinance should be worded to avoid legal issues in regard to the two portions in question. Mayor Ron Peck explained that after review, the penalty phase needs to be revamped and the appeal phase has to be changed. Peck said, “They (property owners) will still get penalized, but the cost of removing the junk is what will incur the cost and be filed against the taxes of the property.” Law enforcement will be present when the property is removed but will have to go through McLean County Sheriff. Commissioners learned that the 30 days for appeal will begin the day that the papers are served by the McLean County Sheriff. Some residents questioned whether junk could be removed from private property. Bauer did some checking and explained that once property owners are given the notice, it becomes a health and safety issue and there is a century code for that. Peck closed by saying, “The ordinance does work, but the penalty and payment phase needs to be addressed.” Commissioners agreed that the changes to the ordinance are necessary and agreed to move forward with revamping the ordinance.

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