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Junk vehicles banned

Clunkers not allowed to be parked in Struthers

STRUTHERS — Struthers now has legislation dealing with junk cars parked on properties throughout the city.

By unanimous vote of council members, it is now unlawful to park, store or keep any vehicle that is unlicensed, abandoned, disabled or unusable.

“My office is solely focused on moving the city forward,” said Joe Rudzik, code enforcement director.

“In this instance we will be asking residential and commercial properties to remove anything not in use or stored unlawfully,” he explained last week, adding: “If unwilling or unable to meet our city standards, we will remove at our convenience.”

The legislation states that tarps, blankets or “anything of the sort not designed specifically for covering and storing a vehicle” are not allowed.

A first offense is a minor misdemeanor, with a second offense resulting in a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Determining the offense will be at the discretion of the safety service director or Rudzik.

The ordinance defines a “junked vehicle” as a vehicle that is inoperable, has no value other than salvage or junk purpose, is wrecked, dismantled or discarded, has at least one wheel missing, or at least one flat tire.

It also includes broken windows or missing parts needed to make the vehicle function.

Once the owner is served a certified letter to have the vehicle vacated from the property, they will have 20 days.

If the vehicle isn’t moved, it then moves to the court system, where the vehicle owner has 10 days to “abate the nuisance,” and the police department will take the vehicle “to a place of safekeeping.”

Vehicles not moved may be sold by the police chief.

The legislation was passed as amendments to existing codes previously set by administration.

It’s the city’s way of cleaning language and enforcement, Mayor Catherine Cercone Miller said. The practice has been happening with more frequency after the appointment of Rudzik’s position last June.

“Because of our new position with the code enforcement director, we’re finding some of our ordinances need a little maintaining and updating,” Miller said.

As Rudzik continues to review city codes, the amendments will allow the city to enforce laws in a more efficient manner, Miller said.

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