WASHINGTONVILLE Police to crack down on residents' junk
In last year's cleanup effort three of about 85 junk vehicles were towed.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
WASHINGTONVILLE -- Residents who have junk vehicles or other junk piling up in their yards will soon have police knocking on their doors.
Police Chief J.R. Blakeman said he's compiling a list of people in violation of the village's junk ordinance. Police will be going door to door in about two weeks issuing warnings.
Those in violation will then have 14 days to move the vehicles or update their registration, he said. Blakeman said any vehicle without a current registration is considered a junk vehicle.
Blakeman said there's no problem with working on vehicles, having the wheels off or the engine disassembled.
He said, however, that the vehicles must have valid license plates, and police will check to see if the valid plates are registered to that vehicle.
"We aren't out to create a hardship for anyone," Blakeman said. "It's a summer beautification project. We have a nice town and we want to keep it looking good."
Blakeman said in a similar effort last year, three vehicles were towed of about 85 found to be in violation of the ordinance. Owners took care of most before the tow trucks arrived, he said.
Residents who aren't at home when the police make their rounds will find a red tag on their doors, he said. On the 15th day after the warnings are issued, the tow trucks will be out, he said.
Owners of vehicles towed will have to obtain a valid license and pay towing and impound storage fees to reclaim their vehicles, he said.
Blakeman said violators took care of the problem last year, knowing their vehicles would be towed. Citing violators to mayor's court as was done previously has had less effect, he said.
In a related matter, Blakeman said people with junk in their yards such as old tires, appliances or furniture are also in violation of village ordinances.
Those residents also will receive warnings and could be cited, he said.