City Coun­cil seek­ing so­lu­tions to evic­tion de­bris

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams SJ Cor­re­spon­dent

Rock­mart’s lat­est City Coun­cil meet­ing touched on top­ics such as the up­com­ing mu­nic­i­pal elect i on, how t o han­dle evic­tion de­bris, and fi­nan­cial re­ports with no time wasted get­ting to the hearts of the is­sues.

The coun­cil con­grat­u­lated in­cum­bents Sher­man Ross, Lu­cille Har­ris, and Joe Hen­der­son who, run­ning un­op­posed, are by virtue of run­ning with­out chal­lengers es­sen­tially re-elected to the coun­cil for an­other four years.

“There will be no need f or t he elec­tion t his year,” said Mayor Stephen Miller. “Con­grat­u­la­tions and I’m glad to serve with you.”

Coun­cil mem­bers serve four year terms with no term limit. The Cedar­town com­mis­sion and Aragon city coun­cil both have con­tested elec­tions this year, along with the Polk County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s special elec­tion for the Dis­trict 6 seat, but Rock­mart’s coun­cil is of- fi­cially set­tled for the com­ing years.

A large por­tion of the meet­ing was fo­cused on the coun­cil’s solution to the on­go­ing prob­lem of evic­tion de­bris.

Evic­tion de­bris can in­clude any­thing a ten­ant’s left over prop­erty to the wreck­age of the build­ing.

“We’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing more and more in­ci­dents where a prop­erty owner will evict a ten­ant for what­ever rea­son,” said City Man­ager Jeff El­lis. “And we’ve had nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions where, once the ten­ant pulls off, the neigh­bor­hood comes out and ran­sacks the de­bris.”

The mas­sive amounts of de­bris have served to oc­cupy Rock­mart’s Public Works de­part­ment, who spent an en­tire day clean­ing de­bris from a Maple Street prop­erty even with the as­sis­tance of “two trucks and five peo­ple,” said El­lis.

City At­tor­ney Michael McRae men­tioned that land­lords who failed to main­tain de­bris by let­ting it col­lect on the street were caus­ing a “nui­sance,” and that the city could “make a nui- sance case against them and then cite them for hav­ing de­bris.”

Though no of­fi­cial de­ci­sion was voted on, cur­rent or­di­nances al­low the city to take ac­tion against land­lords who al­low de­bris to ac­cu­mu­late in the city,

City Clerk Pam Her­ring also gave a brief update on the city’s fi­nances dur­ing the Sept. 12 meet­ing.

“Ev­ery­thing looks good,” said Her­ring. “We’re run­ning pretty close on tar­get, we should get our taxes out on time, and I think we’re about where we should be this time of year.”

The Coun­cil then unan­i­mously ap­proved the July and Au­gust 2017 fi­nan­cial report.

El­lis later gave a state­ment in re­sponse to the re­cent hur­ri­cane scare say­ing that “we will al­ways have mea­sures planned out.”

“We get info about the storms, we know who will be lis­ten­ing, we know who will be re­port­ing, the whole nine yards,” he said. “Just to ease your mind, we will al­ways be ready to re­spond to the best of our abil­ity.”

Sean Wil­liams / Stan­dard Jour­nal

The Rock­mart City Coun­cil kept their agenda for Septem­ber 2017 light, with only a few items up for dis­cus­sion.

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