The Board of Commissioners met June 14 to discuss proposed amendments to the town’s code of ordinances regarding housing and property maintenance and the nuisance abatement code.  The amendments set a timeline of action.  The amendment reads “Order by the Governing Body after failure to repair, remove, vacate, or close after one year.”  Property owners have one year to handle issues, and “after the expiration of such one-year period, the Board of Commissioners may enact an ordinance and serve such ordinance on the owner, setting forth” property repair or demolition within 90 days.

Residents spoke during the public comments section of the meeting on this topic and situations that affect their neighborhoods.  Henry Hartz lives in Farmwood where a house was damaged by a fire two and half years ago but remains untouched.

“We just don’t see anything changing.  We think it’s a health hazard, and personally I would like to see a tax reduction as a result of the impact on my property…I would like to encourage your board to do what they can to get this thing taken care of,” said Hartz.

Pat Heffernan is also a neighbor affected by the burnt house in Farmwood.

“This gentleman is jobbing the system and is very good at it…I would say that it’s not fair to the tax payers, it’s not fair to the neighbors, and it’s simply not right that we should be looking at this type of a situation for the amount of time that we’re looking at it, and then to hear legislation that says technically it could be another 15 months.  Now, I don’t know who has the linchpin, but there is one and it needs to be pulled.  I hope the board will find it for us and get this taken care of,” said Heffernan.

Town Manager Brian Welch clarified that if the town needs to demolish a residence, a lien will be put on the owner’s property.

“The town has done everything we can do within the confines of the law,” said Mayor Ted Biggers.  “We will do everything we can as fast as we can within the constraints of the law.  We will continue to push this issue.”

In other matters

  • The board accepted the treasurer’s report and the tax collector’s report.
  • They approved the budget amendments and accepted the budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
  • The town will enter in an inter-local agreement with surrounding fire departments.
  • The petition filed by Sullivan, Byrd & Roupas to construct an office building at 6332 Matthews-Mint Hill Road was approved.