LIMA — The city Law Department will conduct a full review of its junk vehicle ordinances and work with the Police Department to see how more effectively officials can enforce the laws.
Fourth Ward Councilman Tom Tebben referred the junk vehicle issue to the Economic and Community Development Committee because he wants to see the city make a dent in the number of junk autos, trailers, boats and motor homes. Tebben is asking whether the city needs changes in its ordinances or whether police need more resources.
“I’d like to see City Council make this a priority and have a measureable, meaningful impact in the city,” Tebben said.
The city’s code enforcement staff used to help with the workload, but state law changed several years ago required a certified police officer do most of the work. The officer who does Lima’s enforcement has other responsibilities in addition to the junk vehicle work.
Law Director Tony Geiger said he wants to review the law, which last received a full review about 10 years ago, to see what can be changed to streamline the process and make it easier for police to enforce.
Council also wants some financial information. Tebben wants a fee structure set up that would fund the police work. The city charges a $205 administrative fee, plus towing and storage fees, when someone wants to retrieve a towed junk vehicle.
However, many people chose to not retrieve what’s been towed, which means the city is out cash for the work. Council and Geiger are looking at assessing a fee similar to property maintenance fees, no matter the outcome of the vehicle.