The New Richmond Village Council stands united in its beautification efforts.
“We have had housing codes and ordinances on the books since the 1970’s,” said council woman Ramona Carr during council’s Aug. 8 meeting. “It is past time that we start enforcing them. Things have gotten worse, not better.”
Carr, leading the charge in the clean-up effort, was referring to the negligent homeowners, renters, and slumlords that do not keep their properties maintained to community standards or clean and free of debris and garbage.
Council has recently taken decisive steps to improve the appearance of Front Street, but that is only the beginning.
“The economic development initiative that we are working so diligently on will suffer if we do not take steps to clean up the entire Village,” said council woman Ray Perszyk. “The time has come to document and attack this problem. I am talking about property on every street and every alley, top to bottom, end to end.”
Council feels that one way to accomplish this is by using photographic evidence of the offending properties to perhaps shame the violators into compliance. If that approach fails, property owners will most likely suffer legal penalties.
It was mentioned in council chambers that the time may have come to hire a special inspector to work a couple of days a week exclusively on this endeavor.
“We must enforce the housing codes and ordinances in place. If that means we hire a special inspector for the village, then we must make an effort to find the money in the budget to do so,” said Carr. “I am of the opinion that if we are not going to enforce the ordinances, then they should be taken off the books.”
New Richmond village clerk/treasurer Donna Hammons agrees.
“I am tired of hearing complaints from my neighbors about these problems,” she said. “Whether you rent or own, beautification has now become a necessity and a priority for the village. If you are an offender, you will be hearing from us.”
Councilwoman Carr said that the village must also beautify the green space that the village is responsible for; she used the example of weeds growing up around stop signs.
“If we do not clean up our own property, how can we expect others to do so? We, as the local government, must and will lead by example. We will do our part.”
In other business: