OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow’s proposed local law to aggressively increase the enforcement, fines and penalties for property maintenance issues such as tall grass, un-shoveled sidewalks, exposed garbage and other violations took a big step toward becoming a reality Tuesday night. The Planning and Development Committee gave a favorable recommendation to the mayor’s plan.
The full council will consider the request at its next meeting.
“I am proposing this legislation in an effort to reduce neighborhood blight and address some of the most unsightly and reoccurring violations in our community. Passing this legislation will allow the city of Oswego Code Enforcement department to be more proactive in addressing these nuisance violations and by increasing our enforcement and implementing higher fines we hope to prevent these violations from occurring in the first place,” the mayor explained.
These are “simple issues we should be able to remedy quickly,” he added.
The only thing better than raking care of the problem quickly “is preventing it from happening in the first place,” he said.
He believes the heightened enforcement and increased fines will help deter the problems from occurring.
Barlow’s plan would add a fine on top of the current surcharge for the work the city does in order to correct the problem.
“By attaching this fine, we should get the attention of the violators who consistently cause these violations and issues over and over again,” the mayor told the committee.
Hopefully it will cause them to put a little more attention into taking care of their property, he said.
He also wants to see the prosecution of violations expedited, he said.
It’s not just a “code issue,” he pointed out. It’s also a major safety issue, he said, citing the recent heavy snowfalls that have clogged city sidewalks.
Under his proposal, homeowners would be required to shovel their sidewalks by 7 a.m. the next day after it snows.